Medieval theatre



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MEDIEVAL THEATRE

Handout by Natália Pikli, PhD


TYPES

  • Mystery plays (biblical scenes, Christ, divine mystery, re-enactment), also called miracle plays in England

The Building of the Ark, Crucifixion


  • Morality Plays (interludes, Virtues and Vices, Everyman/Youth, psychomachia), everywhere in Europe

Everyman, The Castle of Perseverence



  • Miracle plays (saints’ lives, focussing on miracles), mostly in France

ORIGINS OF MEDIEVAL DRAMA

1.) THE CHURCH/ RELIGION


  • Divine mystery (cf. Greek drama, Dionysos), holy day – holiday (Eliade: sacred and profane)




  • Easter tropes: ‘Quem quaeritis?’ (Christ’s tomb: Angel and the 3 Marys) – later: additional dialogue, props, set, SD, costumes) – out into the (church)yard




  • Liturgical drama: in Latin, sacred music, clergymen




  • Similarly: Christmas tropes (nativity, shepherds) and Twelfth Night (Magi, star)

2.) FOLK RITUALS/ DRAMATIC RITUALS/ CARNIVALESQUE FESTIVITIES,

cf. Bakhtin


  • Secular drama: in English, folk muisc, dance, amateur players)

  • The Battle of Carnival and Lent

  • Christmas mummings (miming, music, dance, sword fighting, death and revival)

  • St. George plays

  • Harvest festivals, wedding playlets, etc.

PERFORMANCES OF MYSTERY PLAYS

  • The Feast of Corpus Christi

  • Christ’s redemptive power through the miracle of the Host (procession of the ‘holy body’)

  • 1264, Pope Urban, popular from 14th c.

  • 23 May-24 June

  • The whole town taking part (audience, players, etc.) – collective experience

PAGEANT WAGONS






  • Pageant wagons (moving through the town or at the main square in a circle) or set scaffolds – each for one scene

  • ’epic theatre’ – ‘the whole story’, focus on Christ

  • Trade fairs – trade guilds (advertising, showing the skill, devotion)

  • Elaborate set and props, effects, hellmouth, thunder, etc.

  • Mystery and mastery (amateurism)

CYCLES

  • Chester cycle – 25 episodes

  • York cycle – 48 episodes

  • Coventry/N-town cycle – 42 episodes

  • Wakefield/Towneley cycle – 32 episodes, 6 by the Wakefield Master (fl. 1475)

  • Disappearance of mystery plays: 16th c. – new genres, Henry VIII, ‘popish’, last Wakefield perf. 1576 (The Theatre in London, professional actors)

Directory: coursematerial -> PikliNatalia
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coursematerial -> Law of War and Just War Theory Law of War
coursematerial -> Foreign Bodies: History and Trauma in Flannery O'Connor's 'The Displaced Person'
coursematerial -> Lecture 1: Romanticism and Revolution
coursematerial -> A. Home policy: the succession of Mary & William iii(of Orange), securing protestantism in a peaceful, bloodless, thus the glorious „revolution”, the beginning of protestant constitutional monarchy manifested in the
coursematerial -> A. Home policy: the succession of Mary & William iii(of Orange), securing protestantism in a peaceful, bloodless, thus the glorious „revolution”, the beginning of protestant constitutional monarchy manifested in the
coursematerial -> History of England 1 Dr. A velich elte seas/dete 2004/2005/i I. From the Romans to Anglo-Norman England
coursematerial -> William wordsworth and samuel taylor coleridge (Lake Poets) William Wordsworth
coursematerial -> Greek mythology
PikliNatalia -> Metatheatre/metadrama in shakespearean plays I. ’role-playing-within a role’


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