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Goldilocks Crisis

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Early European Theater

• The writings of this period were primarily hymns, sermons and similar theologically oriented works. • Latin became a literary medium. • Major preserves of learning are the monasteries. • 8th century Europe returned to greater stability under the Carolingian kings. ➢ Charles Martel – defeated the Moslems at Tours in 732 AD, through his innovative use of armored horsemen as the principal military force, initiating the development of knighthood. ➢ Charlemagne – extended his realm into the Slavic territories and converting non- Christians on the way. Charlemagne was crowned by the Pope and pronounced him as the successor to Constantine. The scenario was the first attempt to establish the Holy Roman Empire. • Charlemagne’s death caused Europe to break into small units isolated from each other and from the world. • Moslem controlled the Mediterranean and the Vikings, still pagans, conquered the northern seas.

Early Middle Ages

• Life was relatively simple. • Feudalistic patterns were fully established. ➢ Manor (large estate)- headed by a noble man, assumed absolute authority over the peasants who worked his land collectively. ➢ Vassals – supplies the lords a specified number of knights upon demand and the lords in return were bound to protect their vassals.

The Theater (500- 900 AD)

• The theater revived during the early Middle Ages. • After the Western Roman Empire crumbled and the state ceased to finance performances, the mime troupes had broken up. • Small groups of traveling performers – storytellers, jugglers, acrobats, jesters, mimes, ropedancers went from town to town, entertaining. ➢ They performed in taverns and at festivals for the commoners and at court for the nobility. ➢ Festivals usually contained both pagan and Christian elements.

➢ From the beginning they were denounced by the Church, which branded them infamous and sought to make them outcasts. • In northern Europe the performer known “The Scop” flourished from 5th to 8th centuries. ➢ The scop – a singer and teller of tales about the deeds of Teutonic heroes. ➢ After the Teutonic tribes were converted to Christianity, the scop was denounced by the Church. • Most festivals in Western Europe were outgrowths of centuries-old pagan rites and some pagan elements found their way into Christian ceremonies. • By the 10th century a number of theatrical elements had been incorporated with the annual celebrations of the Church calendar. Examples: Palm Sunday Good Friday Easter Sunday • Plays were performed almost entirely in the Benedictine monasteries.

The Feast of the Fools

• Most performances in the church were serious and devotional, an element of buffoonery crept into some plays associated with Christmas. • The Feast of Fools was an important element in the development of comedy. The festival’s appeal laid the inversion of status to ridicule their superiors and the routine of church life. • Scholars linked the Feast of the Fools with pagan rites. • The festival was presided over by a “bishop fool.” • Well established by the end of the 12th century. • Influenced the development of comedy both in religious and secular plays.

The Late Middle Ages (1300-1500 AD)

• Performances of religious plays were commonly given out-side of churches. Productions became extremely elaborate, extending over many days and drawing on the entire resources of the entire community. It became a cooperative effort of church, state and citizens.

➢ Guilds o Originated during the 11th and 12th centuries as protective organizations against feudal lords and for merchants for traveling. o Organized hierarchically. o The rise of guilds was paralleled by the growth of towns. o The growth of guilds and towns brought a corresponding decline in feudalism.

➢ Universities o Played a significant part in shaping the late Middle Ages. o Came into being during the 12th century and replaced monasteries as the major seats of learning. o Stimulated interest in secular learning.

• Many plays came to be staged outdoors primarily during the spring and summer months. ➢ Corpus Christi o Conceived by Pope Urban IV in 1264. Observed on the Thursday following Trinity Sunday varies from May 23 to June 24. o Instituted to give special emphasis to the redemptive power of the consecrated bread and wine. o Corpus Christi is a cosmic drama that encompassed events ranging from the creation to the destruction of the world. o The feast of Corpus Christi also motivated in part of the desire to make the church more relevant to the ordinary people and their lives. o One of the most important innovations was the abandonment of Latin.

Tournaments, Mummings and Disguisings

• Tournaments o Began in the 10th century as a means of knight in warfare. o The most elaborate of the tournaments—the Pas d’armes—spectators were carefully segregated according to sex and rank in galleries that surrounded the field of combat. o Essentially noble or royal entertainments. Some were international events for which royal heralds were sent to foreign courts to issue challenges.

➢ Mummings and Disguising – court entertainments

• Mummings o Originated in pagan ceremonies as sword and Morris dances. o 14th century minstrels performs the Sword dance in weddings and other festivities. Sometimes called as “the dance of the buffoons.” o The Morris dance, participants wore bells and some blackened their faces. A Morris troupe includes a clown, a fool, a hobby horse and a man dressed as Maid Marion.

• Disguisings o On Christmas and carnival seasons, costumed and mask revelers of various sorts took the streets. Some went form house to house presenting plays and pantomimes. o They perform at banquets following tournaments, for visits of royalty, at weddings and on other occasions

Famous individuals in the development Middle Age Theater

Hrosvitha 935-1000 AD

➢ A canoness at the monastery of Gandersheim in Northern Germany. ➢ First known female dramatist; first identifiable Western dramatist of the post-classical era. ➢ Provides the extant feminist perspective in drama. ➢ Her 6 plays, written in Latin, are based on Roman comedies by Terence, but focus on female characters in situations that test their devotion to Christian virtues. ➢ Her intention was to revise the negative portrayals of women that she found in her comedies. ➢

Hildegard of Bingen ➢ Benedictine abbess. ➢ Wrote a Latin play “Ordo Virtutum”, featuring the struggle between personified virtues and the forces of evil.

Liturgical Drama

• There were two kinds of daily services in the church, namely: ➢ Mass- divided into two parts: introduction and sacrament of bread and wine ➢ Hours- Matins, Lauds, Prime, Terce, Sext, Nones, Vespers, Compline

• Matins and Lauds are prayed before sunrise. Prime, Terce, Sext and None are prayed during the first, third, sixth and ninthe hours of the day. Vesper is said as dusk falls, followed by Compline.

• Theatrical elements were incorporated in these annual events: ➢ Palm Sunday ➢ Easter Sunday

• The Regularis Concordia (or Monastic Agreement) was compiled between 965 and 975 by Ethelwood, Bishop of Winchester. It contains the earliest extant playlet.

• Oldest and most numerous of existing plays deal with the visit of the three Marys to the tomb of Christ.

• The crucifixion was rarely dramatized. The earliest dramatization was from Montecassino, Italy. It had 12 scenes and 320 lines of dialogues. Two other crucifixion plays are contained in the Carmina Burana.

• The Carmina Burana is a thirteenth-century collection of plays. It unites all of the episodes of the Christmas story into a single drama.

• The Christmas season had the greatest number of dramas next to Easter. A popular Christmas drama is the Prophets play.

• Other biblical events that were often dramatized were: ➢ Raising of Lazarus ➢ Conversion of St. Paul ➢ The Wise and Foolish Virgins ➢ Pentecost ➢ Isaac and Rebecca ➢ Joseph and his brethren ➢ Daniel in the Lion’s Den ➢ Events in the life of the Virgin Mary
Performances outside the Church

• Performances outside the church started during the twelfth century. By the end of the fourteenth century, many vernacular religious cycles were created.

• Most scholars say that this kind of drama came into existence through the evolution of liturgical dramas. The Mystery of Adam provides evidence for this argument.

• The Mystery of Adam ➢ Dated around 1150 ➢ Staged outdoors but adjacent to the church ➢ Has three main parts ➢ Unclear whether the actors were clergy or laymen

• Glyne Wickham, V.A. Kolve, and others argue against the traditional view of gradual evolution. ➢ They argue that vernacular plays developed independently of the liturgical drama. ➢ They say thet the similarity between the two is because they have common sources- the Bible and other religious and devotional literature.

Vernacular Religious Drama

• English cycles ➢ Plays were produced by about 125 different towns ➢ Most of the existing works are parts of four cycles, namely: York (48), Chester (24), ➢ Wakefield (sometimes called Towneley plays, 32), and the N-Town Plays (42).

• French cycles ➢ More plays survived, ranging from short works to those requiring twenty-five or more days to perform. ➢ Unlike the English cycles, they were usually more restricted in time.

• They all dealt with the same subject: God and religion.

• They are usually episodic and displays little sense of precise chronology.

• They combine stylization with realism.

• Many of them contain comic scenes, usually involving devils and villains.

Secular Dramatic Forms

• The Play of the Greenwood is the oldest existing medieval secular drama. It was written by Adam de la Halle of Arras, France in 1276-77. • The Play of Robin and Marion was written by the same author.

• It usually shows imperfect humanity. • The Boy and the Blind Man is the oldest to survive.

Three popular types of Religious Vernacular plays

• Mystery or cycle plays ➢ Dramatized a series of biblical events.

• Miracle plays ➢ Dramatized the lives of saints.

• Morality plays ➢ Used religious characters and themes to teach a moral lesson. ➢ The Pride of Life is the oldest existing morality play. ➢ The most interesting morality play in terms of staging was The Castle of Perseverance. ➢ Everyman is the best known morality play.


• Derived from the practice of presenting plays in between events • May be religious, farcical, moral, and historical • Associated with the rise of the professional actor • Usually performed in noble residences • Used as a comic diversion between more serious parts of the play


AKA: `The Bard of Avon',
Birth: 1564 in Stratford-on-Avon, England. Shakespeare was born in a market town in which a major market was held at frequent intervals for the sale of all kinds of goods produced in the surrounding area. In his time, Stratford would have been about a day's journey from London.

Nationality: English
Lifespan: 1564 – 1616

Family: John Shakespeare, Merchant and Bailiff and Justice of the Peace Stratford-upon-Avon
Mother: Mary Arden - Children were Hamnet, Judith and Susanna
Education: Grammar School (Kings New School) in Stratford-upon-Avon
Career: Poet, Actor and Playwright. At some time in his early twenties, Shakespeare went to London and became a member of an acting company. Acting companies were groups of actors who stayed together over time. The company was run by a manager or group of managers (sometimes a group of the actors). Each company was under the sponsorship of a member of the nobility.

Famous works: Hamlet, Othello, Julius Caesar, Romeo and Juliet

Social class: English social classes of the sixteenth century were different from ours. There was no "middle class."

Marriage and children: At 18, Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway, 26. Shakespeare and wife had eight children, including daughter Susanna, twins Hamnet, Judith, and Edmund. Susanna received most of the Bard's fortune when he died in 1616, age 52. Hamnet died at age 11, Judith at 77. Susanna dies in 1649, age 66.

Death: Shakespeare died in Stratford on April 23, 1616, aged 52. Both his daughters died childless; there are no Shakespeare descendants.

SHAKESPEAREAN TRIVIA • No one knows the actual birthday of Shakespeare! April 23rd has been generally used - the same day as St. George's Day, the Patron Saint of England • We do not really know what Shakespeare looked like. No portraits were painted of Shakespeare whilst he was still alive. • The majority of the plays of William Shakespeare were only published seven years after his death in a collection of works called the First Folio. • Many eminent Authors, Actors and Politicians do not believe that William Shakespeare wrote his plays including Mark Twain leading to the great Authorship debate • William Shakespeare's three children, Judith, Susanna and Hamnet were all illiterate. • Many of William Shakespeare life facts are unknown - these years are referred to as the 'Lost Years'

SCANDALS AND WEIRD FACTS ABOUT SHAKESPEARE • William Shakespeare is rumored to be the father of an illegitimate son called William Davenant. • The wife of William Shakespeare, Anne Hathaway was 8 years older than William Shakespeare and three months pregnant when they married. • In 1582 William, aged only 18, married an older woman named Anne Hathaway. Soon after they had their first daughter, Susanna. They had another 2 children but William’s only son Hamnet died aged only 11.

OTHER INTERESTING FACTS • Macbeth is thought to be one of the most produced plays ever, with a performance beginning somewhere in the world every four hours. • During his life, Shakespeare wrote 37 plays and 154 sonnets. • Few people realize that apart from writing thirty-seven plays and composing one hundred and fifty-four sonnets, Shakespeare was also an actor who performed many of his own plays as well as those of other playwrights, • Shakespeare, one of literature’s greatest figures, never attended university. • William never published any of his plays. We read his plays today only because his fellow actors John Hemminges and Henry Condell, posthumously recorded his work as a dedication to their fellow actor in 1623, publishing 36 of William’s plays. This collection known as The First Folio is the source from which all published Shakespeare books are derived and is an important proof that he authored his plays.
Titus Andronicus first performed in 1594 (printed in 1594),
Romeo and Juliet 1594-95 (1597),
Hamlet 1600-01 (1603),
Julius Caesar 1600-01 (1623),
Othello 1604-05 (1622),
Antony and Cleopatra 1606-07 (1623),
King Lear 1606 (1608),
Coriolanus 1607-08 (1623), derived from Plutarch
Timon of Athens 1607-08 (1623), and
Macbeth 1611-1612 (1623).
Shakespeare's series of historical dramas, based on the English Kings from John to Henry VIII were a remarkable responsibility to stage the lives and tenet of kings and the varying political events of his point in time. Some were printed on their own or in the First Folio (1623).
King Henry VI Part 1 1592 (printed in 1594);
King Henry VI Part 2 1592-93 (1594);
King Henry VI Part 3 1592-93 (1623);
King John 1596-97 (1623);
King Henry IV Part 1 1597-98 (1598);
King Henry IV Part 2 1597-98 (1600);
King Henry V 1598-99 (1600);
Richard II 1600-01 (1597);
Richard III 1601 (1597); and
King Henry VIII 1612-13 (1623)
Comedies, listed in chronological order of performance.
Taming of the Shrew first performed 1593-94 (1623),
Comedy of Errors 1594 (1623),
Two Gentlemen of Verona 1594-95 (1623),
Love's Labour's Lost 1594-95 (1598),
Midsummer Night's Dream 1595-96 (1600),
Merchant of Venice 1596-1597 (1600),
Much Ado About Nothing 1598-1599 (1600),
As You Like It 1599-00 (1623),
Merry Wives of Windsor 1600-01 (1602),
Troilus and Cressida 1602 (1609),
Twelfth Night 1602 (1623),
All's Well That Ends Well 1602-03 (1623),
Measure for Measure 1604 (1623),
Pericles, Prince of Tyre 1608-09 (1609),
Tempest (1611),
Cymbeline 1611-12 (1623),
Winter's Tale 1611-12 (1623).
WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE TODAY • Until The First Folio was published seven years after his death in 1616, very little personal information was ever written about the Bard. • There are only two authentic portraits of William today; the widely used engraving of William Shakespeare by Martin Droeshout first published on the title page of the 1623 First Folio and the monument of the great playwright in Stratford's Holy Trinity Church in Stratford. • Almost four hundred years after Shakespeare's death there are 15 million pages referring to him on Google. There are 132 million for God, 2.7 million for Elvis Presley, and coming up on Shakespeare's heels, George W Bush with 14.7 million.

SHAKESPEAREAN COMEDY • Comedy in simple terms means that the play ends happily for the protagonists. • Aimed at producing laughter. • He exposes and ridicules follies and foibles, with a gentle and sympathetic touch.

Two Kinds of Comedies

1. Classical Comedy - This kind of comedy follows the rule of dramatic composition as laid by ancient Greek and Roman masters. The rules of a classical comedy are as follows: a. The unities of time, place and action are observed. b. The comic and the tragic element are strictly kept separated from one another. c. It deals with realism and everyday life. d. It aims at correcting or satirizing some human folly, weakness or social vice through ridicule.

Classical comedy laughs at people and not with them. The best known exponent of classical comedy in England is Ben Jonson.

2. Romantic Comedy - In here, the rules of classical comedy are flouted, and it is written according to the dictates of fancy.
• Shakespeare essentially wrote romantic comedies. He mingled the comic and the tragic, the serious and the happy. This made his plays appear more realistic.
• He does not aim to correct or satirize. His prime concern is innocent and good natured laughter. It is not as if follies and extravagances are not exposed and ridiculed. But this is done in a gentle and sympathetic manner.
• Shakespearean comedy is poetic and creative. It has more imagination than pure reason. It is an artist’s vision, not a critic’s exposition.

Classification of Shakespearean Comedies

1. The Early Boisterous Comedies: These are immature and farcical. They are full of wit, play of words, puns and conceits. Humor in this kind of comedy is coarse and cheap.

Examples: Love’s Labour’s Lost, The Comedy of Errors, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, The Midsummer Night’s Dream

(These comedies are written in imitation of Lyly’s style. It has weak characterization and faulty constructions of plots. Its witticism and burlesque pleased the Elizabethan audience.)

2. Joyous or Sunny Comedies: Love and music, fun and merrymaking are the essence of these comedies. They have exquisite heroines. There is a marked improvement in characterization and in the art of creating a romantic atmosphere. These comedies have a fine blend of the romantic and the realistic and of the poetic and the dramatic.

Examples: The Merchant of Venice, As You Like It, Much Ado About Nothing, Twelfth Night

3. Dark Comedies: Comedies only in name and form, but the spirit that animates them is dark, somber and tragic. They depict the seamier side of life. The moral values of life are very low. They exhibit the baser side of sexual passion, and moral values are at a very low level. Their underlying mood is not of comic laughter but bitter cynicism.

Examples: All Is Well That Ends Well, Measure for Measure, Troilus and Cressida

4. The Latter Comedies or Dramatic Romances: Towards the close of his career, and after the tragic period, Shakespeare returned to comedy. These comedies have distinct features which are not visible in his early comedies.
Examples: Cymbeline, The Winter’s Tale, The Tempest


• It means the fall of a notable person. • A hero of high standing dies in the end. Throughout the play he opposes some conflicting force, either external or internal. • The tragic hero should be dominated by “hamartia” (referred to as tragic flaw, but really an excess of some character or trait, e.g. “hubris” or pride). It is “hamartia” that leads to the downfall. • The action in the tragedy must appear real to the audience, so that its passion or emotion is heightened, and the conclusion of the action thus brings release from the passion (catharsis). • Each tragedy is a new beginning, a fresh raid on the inarticulate, for although there is development there is no repetition. • There are marked differences of manner, approach and intention in each of his tragedies. - Othello is a revelation of character and its focus is on individual and domestic qualities. - Lear is a universal allegory and its dramatic technique is determined by the need to present certain human situations. - Macbeth defines a particular kind of evil that results from a lust for power. • From the point of view of an individual solution, here are the aspects of the elements of tragedy: - The tragic individual must be the champion of a great purpose which he devotes his whole existence. - The tragic action must be such that in the story there must be threads which connect the different characters with one another, although each of them must have some special purpose in view. - The tragic solution is usually held to be the triumph of the principles of the ethical world. • However, Shakespearean tragedy does NOT follow the above characteristics entirely. We do not admit that his tragedy is the work of an arbitrary fate or chance since it proceeds from the activity of the hero. The hero has a fatal flaw despite his noble and honorable existence. It is the combination of these two diverse characteristics that brings out the emotions of pity and fear, as nemesis catches up with him. • He is concerned with the ruin or the restoration of the soul and of the life of man. Its subject is the good and evil in the world. • He does not say anything about the origin of evil, nor, as he pursues the soul of a man, through unending torture of inferno or through the spheres made happy and radiant by the perennial presence of a benevolent god.
• Evil exists with an emphasis, in the same way pure love also exists.

Characteristics of a Tragic Hero 1. Always a noble man who enjoyed some status and prosperity in society 2. Possesses some moral weakness or flaw which ultimately leads to his downfall 3. External circumstances can also contribute to his fall like fate 4. Evil agents often acted upon him and the forces of good

Tragic Plays

1. Titus Adronicus
2. Romeo and Juliet
3. Julius Caesar
4. Hamlet
5. Othello
6. Timon of Athens
7. King Lear
8. Macbeth
9. Antony and Cleopatra
10. Coriolanus

HISTORICAL PLAYS • After the defeat of Spanish Amada in 1588 there was a new found fervor and patriotism in England. There was an eagerness to know the country’s history. It was natural that the dramatists of this era tried to fulfill the aspirations of the people by writing historical plays. • Stopford Brooke thinks that Shakespeare’s purpose of writing historical plays was artistic and not political. • His true aim was to represent human life in action and thought within the limits which history set before him. • His historical plays depict the horror of civil war. • He showed kinds of monarchs: first portraying kingly weaknesses and the second kingly strengths. • His message is that prosperity is possible through a strong king under a united nation. • Little details of historical events are spared. He may have even twisted them to give distinct Elizabethan coloring. He wanted to please his audience as well as to create a picture of reality. He was not a historical chronicler who wanted to bring the ideas from their graves onto his plays. His purpose was essentially artistic. Any other deduction is purely incidental. Shakespeare wrote eight plays based on English history and four on Roman history.

Plays of English History

1. 1,2,3 Henry VI 2. Richard III 3. King John 4. Richard II 5. 1 Henry IV 6. 2 Henry IV 7. Henry V 8. Henry VIII

Plays of Roman History

1. Julius Caesar 2. Timon of Athens 3. Antony and Cleopatra 4. Coriolanus


• Marlowe, prior to Shakespeare, wrote strictly in the manner of a rising rhythm. This type of blank verse was called “end-stopt” because there is a pause, no matter how little, in the sense and in the rhythm, at the end of each line. • If the entire Julius Caesar had been written like this, it would have become extremely boring, and even unsuited to drama, which varies incessantly in moods and situations. • Shakespeare introduced weak and inverted stresses as well as extra syllables. He did this to let the sense of rhythm “run on” from the line. • The inversions vary from the rising rhythm to the falling rhythm. • He also used eleven and twelve syllables instead of ten. An unstressed extra syllable may occur anywhere, before or after the pause. An extra syllable, which is not ending. Double ending becomes increasingly frequent in a Shakespeare’s blank verse. • It became more complex and in fact, has been used as one of the methods of establishing the date of the play.

The Rhyme

• In his early plays, Shakespeare made use of the rhymed couplet extensively. But he used it lesser and lesser as he sharpened his dramatic art. - In Love’s Labour’s Lost, one of his earlier plays written around 1592, the play had almost two rhymed lines to every one of blank verse. - In the “Comedy of Errors” there are 380 rhymed lines as against 1150 unrhymed lines. - “The Tempest”, one of last plays, written in 1611, had two rhymed lines. - “The Winter’s Tale”, also written around this time, did not have one. • The use of rhyme and frequency has served the purpose of establishing the chronology and sequence of Shakespeare’s plays. While applying this theory, those couplets must, however, be excluded which are present due to a special reason. “The Tempest” for instance had to be written in rhyme, as all masques are, and can have no bearing on the date of the play. • Shakespeare abandoned the rhymed couplet and adopted the blank verse for his dramatic presentation for the following reason:
a. Rhyme is artificial and reminds us that we are watching a play. Men do not speak in rhyme in real life, and it can jar the sensibilities, especially when emotions are heightened. Blank verse is as natural as conversation, and this makes even fiction appear more truthful and real.
b. Blank verse provides the freedom of expression which the rhymed couplet can never provide.
c. Blank verse provides greater variety than a rhyming couplet. The pauses and stresses in a rhyming couplet are monotonous, since they are always at the same place. Blank verse, on the other hands, specially the one mastered by Shakespeare, provides enormous variation. • Iambic Pentameter: Rhythm is measured in small groups of syllables called feet. Iambic describes the type of foot that is used. Stressed or unstressed. Pentameter indicates that a line has five of these "feet". - Inversion: The first foot is the most likely to change by use of inversion. It reverses the order of the unstressed and stressed in the foot. - Example: The first line of Richard III starts with an inversion:
/ |˘ | |˘ |/ | |˘ |˘ | |/ |/ | |˘ |/ | |Now |is || |the |win- || |ter |of || |our |dis- || |con- |tent | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |Final unstressed syllable: A common departure from standard iambic pentameter is the addition of a final unstressed syllable which creates a weak or feminine ending.
˘ |/ | |˘ |/ | |˘ |\ | |/ |˘ | |˘ |/ |˘ | |To |be || |or |not || |to |be, || |that |is || |the |ques- |tion | |

• Repetition: The simple repetition of a word, within a sentence or a poetical line, with no particular placement of the words. It makes speech more convincing and memorable.
Example: “Not that I loved Caesar less, but that I loved Rome more.” (Act III, Scene ii, Lines 22-23) • Soliloquy and Aside: The former is a long speech given by a character while alone on stage to reveal his or her private thoughts or intentions. The latter is the character’s quiet remark to the audience or another character that no one else on stage is supposed to hear.
Example: Trebonius: “Caesar, I will. And so near will I be That your best friends shall wish I had been further.” (Act II, Scene ii, Lines 124-125)

The Prose

• Verity states that the chief use to which Shakespeare put prose is a conversational medium of expression. • His aim is to lower the dramatic pitch, and does not desire a poetical effect: where in fact, he wants to convey the impression of people talking together. • Characters speak in prose when the mood is tragic and poetic. Emotions like bitterness, hatred, irony, wit, abruptness of thought or feeling find a more natural rhythm when spoken in prose. • Shakespeare used prose for comic parts as well. In “As You Like It”, Touchstone never speaks in rhyme. • During the middle of his career he invariably used prose in his comedies. He altered from prose to verse and vice versa in a very interesting manner within the scene itself. These alterations suggested change of moods or circumstances. • Prose is also given to: clowns, peasants, servants, soldiers and scenes of “low type”, such as the gravedigger’s scene in Hamlet. • It is used for letters, proclamations and documents, as well as the depiction of profound mental imbalance such as follows: - Hamlet uses prose when he pretends to be insane. - Ophelia uses prose when she is actually insane. - King Lear uses prose after he goes mad, though he had spoken in verse prior to his insanity.

ELIZABETHAN DRAMA • Tableau appeared in the 10TH century • The earliest miracle play was written by Hilarius • Seneca – model of tragedy • Plautus & Terence – comedy
3 elements of drama: – mystery – miracle – morality • 1st regular English comedy: Ralph Roister Doister • written by Nicholas Udall who followed a Latin Model • 1st English Tragedy – Gorboduc, 1562 by Sackville and Norton

ELIZABETHAN THEATER • Start of theater in England - Gospel stories performances in church • The theaters were largely open air, with only the stage and the gallery being covered • “the groundlings of the pit” • Tragedy -black curtains, blue for comedy • Women were not allowed to act by law

2 Major Types of Theaters • Inn Yards / Indoor Theater • Great halls / Outdoor Theater

Inn Yards / Private Theaters • In medieval times, plays were performed on carts • Actors a.k.a “Strolling Players” • Inkeepers learned that business improved whenever players came to town

Great Halls / Public Theater • Great Plague, 1603 – the king went to London to stay at Hampton Court Palace


• 1576-The Theater • 1576- Newington Butts • 1577- The Curtain • 1587- The Rose • 1595- The Swan • 1599- The Globe • 1600- The Fortune • 1600- The Boar’s Head • 1604- The Red Bull • 1614- The Hope

City Inns used for plays between 1576-1594
White Hart Inn Location - Southwark
The Bull Inn 0 Location - Bishopsgate, London
The Bell Savage Inn Location - Ludgate hill, London
Cross Keys Inn Location - Gracechurch Street, London
The Bell Inn Location - Eastcheap, London
George Inn Location - Borough High Street, Southwark

COSTUMES • English dress reflected the vitality of the period

• Any part of the costume was likely to have been decorated with:

o braid o embroidery o pinking (pricking in patterns) slashing or puffing o encrusted with pearls, jewels, or spangles or trimmed with lace or artificial flowers

• The names of parts of the Elizabethan wardrobe indicate their foreign origins:

• French hose • French hood • Spanish bonnet • Venetian dress • Petticoat and Trousers • The costumes and sets of Shakespeare's time influenced the production of the plays.

• ‘stomacher’- A triangular piece at the front section; joined to the bodice by pins

• The main feminine garment usually consisted of at least two parts: bodice and skirt

The Royal Theatre
The Royal Theatre emerged during the Renaissance period. This period was also called the Enlightenment age because it was the era when the following came out: • physical laws of Sir Isaac Newton, • political and social analysis of the Baron de Montesquieu, • rational philosophies of Rene Descartes, John Locke Immanuel Kant and David Hume, • Comprehensive encyclopedias of Denis Diderot.

Also, it was the age of • politesse, • social decorum; • powdered wigs, • gilded snuff boxes, • fine laces, • Carried walking sticks.

And of course, it was a year of elegance and modulated social behavior because it was then the Aristocrats’ domination over Europe.

The French theatre

The French theatre is the most splendid theatre of the royal era. It is theater that brought together the brilliantly humane comedies of Moliere, the exquisite verse tragedies of Racine, and the incomparably talented court of King Louis XIV.

Royal Court and Tennis Court

• The king chooses to make his palaces places of entertainment for his court • The association of the French public theatre with a once popular tennis game is what’s intriguing • Sports and theater have been intertwined since ancient times

Examples: ➢ Romans staging plays in the intervals between gladiatorial contests ➢ Shakespearean theatre was at times alternated with bear-baiting bouts

• The overall functions and development of theatre and sports display some significant parallels • The royal theatre of France however, was associated with tennis not bear-baiting • This points up some of the fundamental dissimilarities between Elizabethan England and the France of Louis XIV • The public theatre building in 17th century France was for the most part an adaptation of jeu de paume

Jeu de paume

• A forerunner of modern day tennis • “palm game”, was originally a simple handball sport which had racquets • Became the favorite game of the French King Henry IV • By the end of 16th century there were a thousand jeu de paume courts in Paris alone • Refers to the building as well as the sport • A rectangular structures with spectator galleries on the two long sides and an open or windowed area running around the building below the roof

The Public Theatre Audience • Varied audience • A mixture of old nobility and newer bourgeoisie • Notable for its audacious appearance and its vociferous voicing of opinion


• Jean Baptiste de Poquelin

• Born in Paris

• Father is the Royal upholster to King Louis XIII

• The most produced French playwright of all time.

• Un homme du theatre – “man of the theatre”

➢ He personifies the wit, the charm, the ebullience, and the genius of his era.

➢ An actor, producer, critic, and comic playwright

• Today known as the best loved foreign-language playwright on the English speaking stage

• The national hero in France comparable to Shakespeare in England

• Comedie Francaie

• Known primarily as an author of comic plays :

➢ Tartuffe

➢ The Misanthrope

➢ The Miser

➢ The Doctor in spite of Himself

• A theatrical manager of singular capability: he was not only the leader of his own celebrated troupe but also the producer of dozens of plays by other writers, including Pierre Corneille and Jean Racine (Frances’s premiere tragedian, discovered and first produced by Moliere).

• He is a fine actor who played the leading roles in most of his productions.

• He is a critic against excessive critical strictures; his works themselves embody some of the most incisive dramatic criticism of his time.

• Molieres contribution to the English Restoration Drama

➢ The Plain Dealer – William Wycherley: one of the outstanding Restoration comedies is in part an adaptation of Moliere’s The Misanthrope.

• Illustre Theatre – his first enterprise in Paris; failed within two years, and he was imprisoned for the theatres debts.

Moliere headed south and for the next twelve years, entertained public and gentry alike in the street theatres and private homes of the French provinces.

The company was invited to paris to play before the King- now Louis XIV – one of Molieres own plays, an afterpiece to the main work of the evening, that secured the royal favor and led to Molieres installation, at the Kings direction, at the Theatre du Petit Bourbon in the French Capital.

Louis XIV provided Moliere with his theatre and his title. He granted Moliere an annual pension and was godfather to his first child; approved the controversial Tartuffe.

• Commedia dell’arte – popular troupe that, at first, had all the most prestigious afternoons already booked while Molieres I on the “off” days.

• “King’s Comedians” – the official name given by King Louis when Molieres brilliant plays moved to the “on” days.

• Madeleine Bejart – Moliere lived with for 12 yrs.

• Armande Bejart – married when he got to Paris; Madeleine’ sister.

• Both Bejarts are performers of Moliere.

• Mouton Blanc – a Parisian Café where the circle of writers, including Moliere regularly gathers.

• Commedia – evident in his plays as is the neoclassic style that he fashioned after Terence (whose works Moliere knew by heart in the original Latin.)

• Moliere’s works glorify sensibility, rational temperament, personal freedom, and common justice.

➢ They deplore pompousness, greed, artifice, and humbuggery.

• His comedies repeatedly explore irreconcilable human conflicts:

➢ common sense vs implacable desire;

➢ hard reality vs galloping irrationality;

➢ Personal integrity vs political and social ambition.

• “Humane Comedy” for Moliere drew heavily upon his own predicaments to help his audience laugh at the human comedy.


• It is the characteristic of most of Molieres work in two respects:

➢ It is a social satire, and it pleased court and public alike with its rare combination of wit, romance, sharp-edged social commentary, and farcical hijinks (*Playful, often noisy and rowdy activity, usually involving mischievous pranks; boisterous celebration or merrymaking; unrestrained fun: The city is full of conventioneers indulging in their usual high jinks.).

• A comedy-ballet in five acts (with music from Jean Baptiste Lully), it is structured as a typical royal divertissement: a frothy entertainment of simple format designed solely for the diversion of the court, to be savored with relish and quickly forgotten.

• Commissioned by Louis XIV for a 1670 premiere at the Royal Chateau of Chambord (a palatial hunting lodge in the valley of the Sologne, about one hundred miles south of Paris)

• Achieved great initial acclaim and after several repeat performances it was brought north to Paris, first to play at the suburban Palace of Saint-Germain-en-Laye, then in the public theatre of the Palais Royale.

• Today, it’s a staple of the Comedie Francaise and regularly translated, produced, and enjoyed around the world.

• It is a comedy of character, and it deals with a phenomenon as familiar in our day as it was in the seventeenth century: social climbing.

• Monsieur Jordain – central character; merchant of bourgeois class.


• Formal

• The stage of his theatre was relatively small and apparently did not have the pavilion-type upper level described for the Marais, that courtier-spectators were often seated on the periphery of the stage itself, and that Moliere was regularly called upon to restage works at court.


• Stage Machinery was developed to an extraordinary degree for the staging of opera, ballets, and so-called machine play in this Era.

• Giacomo Torelli – an Italian stage designer and brought his skills and technologies to Paris in 1645; converted the petit bourbon and Palais Royale to mechanically sophisticated theatres suitable for hugely elaborate staging, which proved quite popular.

• After 15 years, Gaspar Vigarani –an Italian designer that came to Paris at the request of Cardinal Mazarin and there he created Salle des Machines.

• Salle des Machines – had a stage depth of 140 feet – vis-à-vis an auditorium depth of only 92 feet; a theatre specifically intended for spectacular stage effects, in the Tuileries Palace.

• This “machine hall” opened in 1662.

• Both Torelli’s and Vigarani’s theatres featured ornate proscenium, deep stages, wing and drop scenery elaborately painted in careful perspective, and impressive flying and hoisting machinery.

• “Amphitryon” and “Psyche” of Moliere were “machine plays”.


Primarily, Royal Theater has a fundamental association with kings.

• Spain; King Philip IV - Plays of Pedro Calderon de la Barca - Light entertainment - Philosophical food for thought • France; Louis XIV - The “Sun Kings” - Tragedies of Pierre Corneille and Jean Racine - Scintillating pointed comedies of Jean Baptiste Poquelin • England; King Charles II - Restoration Drama - Comedies of William Wycherley William Congreve, John Vanbrugh, and George Farquhar - Tragedies of John Dryden • Sweden • Denmark • Russia • Germany • Italy

It was called Royal because the patrons of these theatres were kings and nobles of Europe. The kings actually have the say on what will happen to the play. Like according to Moliere “The great test of all plays is the judgment of the Courts: it is the Courts’ taste which you must study if you want to find the secret of success.”

Courts are the Aristocrats who are drawn into the social circle of the king and sometimes into the king’s very household. Manners and decorum are very discernible; “the most prized personal gifts”0

- Splendid appearance - Verbal dexterity - Intellectual dispassion - Social grace - Abiding sense of whimsy

The king’s authority was absolute, extending not only to politics but to arts, literature, dress and morality as well. In plays, when the king applauded, the people surrounding him will do the same and when he was silent, performers will frown for despair.

Plays were fundamentally for elitists playing highly restricted audiences. Plays are usually housed in royal places and chateaux and if in public, it will be in an indoor, intimate, and candlelit places only for hundreds and not for thousands of spectators.

Court Theater became a major enterprise during the accession of Elizabeth to the English throne 1558. It was then under the direct administration of a court officer called as the Master of Revels. He supervises court productions and licenses plays and players for public appearances.

The Audiences

The audience of the royal theater was actually the wealthy, urbane intelligentsia, professional classes of civil servants and lawyers and a few representatives of upper crust of the bourgeoisie. Usually, the reasons for these people to watch are to see one another and to be seen, to make contacts and conduct businesses and to dally and contrive assignations. They were actually more into how people will perceive his/her dress for tonight rather than how the play will look like.

The Dramaturgy

The Royal Theater was governed by critical standards. Neo-classism or the “new classism” is used to describe the accepted dramaturgy of the Royal theatre. And its foundations were avoidance of violence and vigorous physical actions. Because of this, there were called the “rules” of playwriting.

For tragedy; - Single action - Single locale - Single day’s time

No tragedy should contain comic relief
No comedy should harbor sustained moments of pathos
No verse pattern should be altered in the course of play

Violators of the said rules would spend almost all their time defending themselves and end up not writing anymore.

Staging Practices

They use prosceniums to establish clear frontal relationship of audience to the actors…….

The great development was not on the dramatic structure, staging or scenery but on the expanded admission of the women into the acting profession. No longer were the romance be portrayed in abstract by men and boys.


Today, the English theater is now known as the restoration theater because it cam into being with the restoration of the English monarchy. It was actually in 1660 when English theater was finally restored, when King Charles II ascended the throne.

The Restoration Theater featured a rectangular hall divided in two by a proscenium arch. The dramas of the restoration included heroic and neo-classic tragedies, tragic comedies and a range of musical entertainments; but the greatest glory of the era was achieved in the comedies of William Wycherly (The Country of Wife), Sir George Etherge (The Man of Mode) and William Congreve (The way of the World)

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