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Drama, Play, and Game English Festive Culture in the Medieval and Early Modern Period

by Lawrence M. Clopper

  • ISBN: 9780226110301
  • ISBN10: 0226110303

Drama, Play, and Game English Festive Culture in the Medieval and Early Modern Period

by Lawrence M. Clopper

  • List Price: $72.00
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Univ of Chicago Pr
  • Publish date: 05/01/2001
  • ISBN: 9780226110301
  • ISBN10: 0226110303
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Description: How was it possible for drama, especially biblical representations, to appear in the Christian West given the church's condemnation of the theatrum of the ancient world? In a book with radical implications for the study of medieval literature, Lawrence M. Clopper resolves this perplexing question.

Drama, Play, and Game demonstrates that the theatrum repudiated by medieval clerics was not "theater" as we understand the term today. Clopper contends that critics have misrepresented Western stage history because they have assumed that theatrum designates a place where drama is performed. While theatrum was thought of as a site of spectacle during the Middle Ages, the term was more closely connected with immodest behavior and lurid forms of festive culture. Clerics were not opposed to liturgical representations in churches, but they strove ardently to suppress May games, ludi, festivals, and liturgical parodies. Medieval drama, then, stemmed from a more vernacular tradition than previously acknowledged -- one developed by England's laity outside the boundaries of clerical rule.

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