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Copenhagen by Michael Frayn

Copenhagen (1998)

by Michael Frayn

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7411912,575 (4.07)38
  1. 00
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    Jannes: Science, the exploration of the unknown in the universe, explaining life through mathematical concepts, and the uncertainty of the past. These two plays have a lot in common, and are both equally brilliant.
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    Life of Galileo by Bertolt Brecht (MissBrangwen)
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    Tickling the Dragon by Ruth Brandon (KayCliff)

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» See also 38 mentions

English (17)  Italian (1)  German (1)  All languages (19)
Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
  kutheatre | Jun 4, 2015 |
Mesmerizing. ( )
  Noa.Tamir | Dec 28, 2014 |
Mesmerizing. ( )
  Noa.Tamir | Dec 28, 2014 |
מחזה מעניין מאוד על דילמה היסטורית פיזיקלי​ ( )
  amoskovacs | Jul 19, 2014 |
I didn't love this as much as I wanted to. This play centers around two meetings between Bohr and Heisenberg in Copenhagen. The first in 1941, during the war, where the play conveys the 'uncertainty' (get it...) about what Heisenberg's intentions were, what happened at ...the meeting -- was Heisenberg warning Bohr about the German bomb project, deliberately sabotaging it, seeking help on it, looking for someone to spy on the Americans, etc. The second is in 1947 in which they try, unsuccessfully, to resolve that uncertainty. All of the story told in the form of dialogue between the two of them and Bohr's wife after they all have died.

It is well done, there is lots of thought-provoking dialogue and thoughts, and you can't blame Frayn for the lack of anything resembling clear resolution.

But somehow something was still missing. ( )
  nosajeel | Jun 21, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0385720793, Paperback)

For most people, the principles of nuclear physics are not only incomprehensible but inhuman. The popular image of the men who made the bomb is of dispassionate intellects who number-crunched their way towards a weapon whose devastating power they could not even imagine. But in his Tony Award-winning play Copenhagen, Michael Frayn shows us that these men were passionate, philosophical, and all too human, even though one of the three historical figures in his drama, Werner Heisenberg, was the head of the Nazis' effort to develop a nuclear weapon. The play's other two characters, the Danish physicist Niels Bohr and his wife, Margrethe, are involved with Heisenberg in an after-death analysis of an actual meeting that has long puzzled historians. In 1941, the German scientist visited Bohr, his old mentor and long-time friend, in Copenhagen. After a brief discussion in the Bohrs' home, the two men went for a short walk. What they discussed on that walk, and its implications for both scientists, have long been a mystery, even though both scientists gave (conflicting) accounts in later years.

Frayn's cunning conceit is to use the scientific underpinnings of atomic physics, from Schrödinger's famous cat to the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, to explore how an individual's point of view renders attempts to discover the ultimate truth of any human interaction fundamentally impossible. To Margrethe, Heisenberg was always an untrustworthy student, eager to steal from her husband's knowledge. To Bohr, Heisenberg was a brilliant if irresponsible foster son, whose lack of moral compass was part of his genius. As for Heisenberg, the man who could have built the bomb but somehow failed to, his dilemma is at the heart of the play's conflict. Frayn's clever dramatic structure, which returns repeatedly to particular scenes from different points of view, allows several possible theories as to what his motives could have been. This isn't the first play to successfully merge the worlds of science and theater (one is inevitably reminded of Tom Stoppard's Arcadia and Hapgood), but it's certainly one of the most dramatically successful. --John Longenbaugh

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:57:56 -0400)

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The Student Edition of Frayn's multi-award winning play includes a full commentary and notes.

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