Playing Out the Empire: Ben-Hur and Other Toga Plays and Films - A Critical Anthology

Playing Out the Empire: Ben-Hur and Other Toga Plays and Films - A Critical Anthology

by David Mayer
     
 

ISBN-10: 0198119909

ISBN-13: 9780198119906

Pub. Date: 02/28/1994

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

Playing Out the Empire provides a unique introduction to the 'toga play', a genre of theatrical melodrama which flourished in the late nineteenth century and re-emerged in silent cinema and later 'epics', and which sheds important new light on British and American social and cultural history. The volume brings together the most important playscripts and film scenarios…  See more details below

Overview

Playing Out the Empire provides a unique introduction to the 'toga play', a genre of theatrical melodrama which flourished in the late nineteenth century and re-emerged in silent cinema and later 'epics', and which sheds important new light on British and American social and cultural history. The volume brings together the most important playscripts and film scenarios of the genre. Set in the post-Republican Roman Empire, toga plays and films presented Roman and Jewish heroes, Christian virgins, seductive 'adventuresses', insane Emperors, savage lions, and racing chariots. But, as David Mayer shows in his lively critical introductions, the plays also ventured clandestinely into issues of class, gender, religion, immigration, and imperialism. Among the restored scripts and scenarios included here - all of which are previously unpublished and generously illustrated - are those of Claudian (1883); the most popular of all Victorian melodramas, The Sign of the Cross (1895); and the stage spectacular Ben-Hur (1899), together with its earliest cinematic version (1907). D. W. Griffith's first toga film, The Barbarian Ingomar (1908) is represented by a lengthy selection of film stills. At a time of growing interest in the relationship between Victorian popular theatre and early cinema, this ground-breaking book reveals a highly significant - but critically neglected - theatrical and cinematic genre.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780198119906
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
02/28/1994
Pages:
336
Product dimensions:
5.75(w) x 8.75(h) x 0.90(d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Introduction1
The Music of Toga Drama23
Claudian30
The Last Days of Pompeii90
The Sign of the Cross104
Ben-Hur (play)189
The Charioteers291
Ben-Hur (film)298
The Barbarian Ingomar300
Afterword312
Select Filmography315

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