Tom Stoppard: The Hard Problem (3675 words)


Tom Stoppard’s The Hard Problem, his 31st theatrical play, received its world premiere on the Dorfman stage at The National Theatre on London’s South Bank on 28 January 2015. Running without an interval for about an hour and 40 minutes, it was Stoppard’s first play for the theatre since Rock ‘n’ Roll (2006). The later play is “about very large subjects: how consciousness works, whether altruism and goodness are innate human qualities, whether God exists” (Lee: 810-11).

The Hard Problem has much in common with Stoppard’s concerns since his first play, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (1967): chance, “choice”, the roll of t…

Citation: Baker, William. "The Hard Problem". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 21 June 2021 [, accessed 05 July 2022.]

40469 The Hard Problem 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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