Memory, Images, and the English Corpus Christi Drama

Overview

Memory, Images, and the English Corpus Christi Drama uniquely brings together memory theory, medieval and contemporary images, cognition, and the English Corpus Christi drama. Lerud argues that the role of frames or backgrounds is integral to the image and has been underestimated or misunderstood in the study of the drama. Lerud examines the use of doorways, arches, gates, and other significant town spaces in framing or setting off particular pageant images, to achieve a fuller understanding of the longevity of a...

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Overview

Memory, Images, and the English Corpus Christi Drama uniquely brings together memory theory, medieval and contemporary images, cognition, and the English Corpus Christi drama. Lerud argues that the role of frames or backgrounds is integral to the image and has been underestimated or misunderstood in the study of the drama. Lerud examines the use of doorways, arches, gates, and other significant town spaces in framing or setting off particular pageant images, to achieve a fuller understanding of the longevity of a drama often viewed as “Catholic” that nonetheless survived the dissolution of the monasteries and the turmoil of the early Reformation.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"In accounting for the certainly real influence of image theory on the development of English theater, Lerud’s book opens up, with understated audacity, new space for further serious thinking about poetics in the study of medieval drama free from the influence of Renaissance ideologies, and it will be of much interest to scholars of the plays.”—Speculum

“Lerud's book on the English Corpus Christi drama brings together memory theory, both medieval and modern, with images that focus on memory systems and with the Corpus Christi drama itself in a way that seems to me entirely new and provocative in the best sense. The book makes a compelling case that frames and backgrounds of medieval images are fundamental to an appreciation of the drama. The images of gateways and other framing structures illustrate brilliantly how space functions in the performance of certain key Corpus Christi pageants.”—David Bevington, Phyllis Fay Horton Distinguished Service Professor in the Humanities, University of Chicago

"Memory, Images, and the English Corpus Christi Drama is a broadly informed study of medieval theatricality whose special merit is to explore the mutually determining semiotic link between the presupposed cognitive dynamics of the beholder and the dramatic action that he or she beholds."—Eugene Vance, Professor of French and Comparative Literature and Professor of Comparative Religion, University of Washington

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780230603219
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 7/22/2008
  • Series: The New Middle Ages Series
  • Pages: 200
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Theodore K. Lerud is Professor of English, Elmhurst College. He is the author of Social and Political Dimensions of the English Corpus Christi Drama and the co-editor of the Handbook of the Linguistic Atlas of the Middle and South Atlantic States.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1

1 Medieval Culture and the Memory Arts 7

2 The Position of Theater in the Thought of Augustine of Hippo 15

3 Medieval Aristotelianism and the Poetics of the English Corpus Christi Drama 25

4 Thomas Aquinas and the Rehabilitation of the Image: A Context for the Development of Medieval Drama 41

5 Drama as "Quick Image": The Fifteenth-Century Context 51

6 Corpus Christi Drama and the Places of Memory: Liturgical Precedents and Illuminated Manuscript Analogues 63

7 Plays, Places, and the Dramatic Records 95

8 A Bird in the Hand: Shifting Politics and Processions in Chester 105

9 Reinventing the Cycle: The Banns, the Text, and the Pentecostal Design 121

10 The Missing Link: Spaces, Places, and the Chester Whitsun Plays 135

Notes 147

Bibliography 171

List of Selected Prior Publications 177

Index 179

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