Start your review of Copenhagen Write a review Shelves: philosophy-theology , british , science , sociology Quantum Ethics Intentions maketh the man - in love, life, and war. Well perhaps not. Who knows anyones genuine motives, especially ones own. Our reasons for acting the way we do involve telling a story. Stories justify intentions as rational, beneficial, necessary, or just plain good.
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Each of the three main characters -- Werner Heisenberg , Niels Bohr , and Margrethe Bohr his wife -- are dead throughout the entirety of the text. Bohr was the leading atomic physicist before the war who commonly hosted other scientists for periods of research at his home facilities. His wife was heavily involved with his work as well.
They both are left with the lingering question of why Heisenberg came and the consequences. Heisenberg insists it was business as usual and that what happened later in Germany would have happened anyway. Infamous for his heading up of the Nazi atomic research program, Heisenberg believes his refusal of the project would have been futile. The three ghosts keep running the encounter in over and over in their heads.
They rehearse "new drafts" as they call them, possible alternate timelines and their consequences. Each of them seems to be wracked by a unique kind of guilt concerning the development of the atom bomb in Los Alamas. Unable to find peace in their deaths, they are endlessly discussing the tragic events of their lives. The conversation is heavy by nature of its topic and often confusing. Characters drift in and out of conscious states, reliving memories in front of the others.
Eventually they conclude that space-time is not something to be questioned. Although difficult to understand, the past is certain. They decide to embrace the inevitable nature of the future as a manifestation in some small way of their actions during their lives.
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Wade Bradford Updated December 13, Why do we do the things we do? The other scientist, Niels Bohr , is devastated that his native Denmark has been occupied by the Third Reich. The two spoke very briefly before Bohr angrily ended the conversation and Heisenberg left. Mystery and controversy have surrounded this historic exchange. Bohr, however, remembers differently.
Heisenberg — "No one understands my trip to Copenhagen. To Bohr himself, and Margrethe. To interrogators and intelligence officers, to journalists and historians. Well, I shall be happy to make one more attempt.
'Copenhagen' by Michael Frayn Is Both Fact and Fiction