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

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

by Lawrence M. Clopper

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Overview

Drama, Play, and Game: English Festive Culture in the Medieval and Early Modern Period by Lawrence M. Clopper

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 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780226110301
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publication date: 05/28/2001
Edition description: 1
Pages: 356
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Lawrence M. Clopper is a professor of English at Indiana University. He is the author of Songes of Rechelesnesse: Langland and the Franciscans and The Dramatic Records of Chester, 1399-1642.

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