The Devil and the Lady

One character is a mathematician whose every line is phrased in the language of mathematics and/or astronomy. Often, these are corrections to mathematical metaphors or even unintentional puns in statements made by the Devil.

Play title:  The Devil and the Lady

Author (s):  Alfred Tennyson

Publisher: The Macmillan Company

Publication Date: 1930

Genre: Comedy

Primary Discipline: Mathematics

Secondary Discipline: Astronomy

Scientist (s): Fictional

Source Texts: Unknown

Character Breakdown:

Magus, Amoret, Antonio, Pharmaceutus, Stephanio, Angulo, Campano, Benedict, Devil

Setting: Varies

Time Period: 1800’s

Synopsis of Play: Although first published in 1930, this humorous and beautifully worded play was written by the famous poet more than 100 years earlier when he was less than 14 years old.
One character is a mathematician whose every line is phrased in the language of mathematics and/or astronomy. Often, these are corrections to mathematical metaphors or even unintentional puns in statements made by the Devil. For instance, when they are arguing about why the Devil will not reveal his face, he asks for “no divisions” regarding “this point”, to which the mathematician replies “A point hath neither parts nor magnitude, Thy face hath both and therefore is no point.” (The Devil has a comeback: “From thine own wit I judge thy wit is pointless, For thou hast parts and therefore lackest point.”) At other times, the mathematician’s remarks are merely metaphors themselves, such as when he comments on someone’s appearance. http://kasmana.people.cofc.edu/MATHFICT/mfview.php?callnumber=mf924

First Performance Date: Unknown

First Producer: Unknown

Performance History: Unknown

Links:

http://www.nybooks.com/articles/1964/06/11/tennysons-early-work/  

Entered by: Meaghan Yesford

Photo/Visual Research with citations

Alfred Lord Tennyson         

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