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What are the main character changes, from Act I to II, for Septimus?I was wondering if...

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rwilliams3 | High School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 24, 2007 at 8:05 AM via web

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What are the main character changes, from Act I to II, for Septimus?

I was wondering if in Act II Septimus feels somewhat trapped in the Croon Estate. The stage direction discribe him carrying wine; and his language, to lady Croom in particular, seems to take on a colder tone. Thoughts? 

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sullymonster | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted October 27, 2007 at 11:23 PM (Answer #1)

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Septimus is a romantic.  He believes in the existence of genius and finds beauty in that belief.  He sees life as an adventure to discover and experience all the secrets of the universe -- secrets of the flesh, secrets of the mind, secrets of the heart. 
As the play continues, however, he loses his idealism.  Life at the Croon Estate continues to bring him complications and disappoints.  He becomes bitter about the realities of the world.  This is symbolized in his slow acceptance of Thomasina's mathematical experiment.  He realizes Thomasina is right, and her theory suggests the eventual end of the universe. What he mourns, however, is not the end of life but the loss of innocence. "When we have found all the mysteries and lost all the meaning, we will be alone, on an empty shore,’’ he laments before joining Thomasina in her first, and last, waltz.

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florine | Student, Undergraduate | Valedictorian

Posted June 29, 2012 at 1:22 PM (Answer #2)

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     I suppose it is Act II, scene 6 which is referred to, the dialogue between Septimus and Lady Croom which deals with Mrs Chatter's affairs with men including himself and a certain number of letters written by Septimus or by Lord Byron. Basically, the main interest resides in "the action of bodies in heat", the passion, and the illustration of the law of entropy which measures the degree of disorder of a system. Now, the second law of thermodynamics says that it is impossible to transfer heat from a colder body to a hotter body without external effects!! At the end of the scene, Septimus seems to be subdued by Lady Croom's colder tone but domineering attitude when she conjures up the vision of her and Septimus reading the Athenian philosophers together. Yet, the last image with Septimus's burning of the letters focuses on fire...

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