Show Summary Details Article Images. Medieval drama. You do not currently have access to this article Login Please login to access the full content. Subscribe Please subscribe to access the full content. Oxford University Press. Sign in to annotate. Delete Cancel Save. Close Save. Valencia, Archivo Municipal. Piacenza, Duomo, Biblioteca e Archivio Capitolare.
Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart. Revue de musicologie. Rassegna musicale. Modena, Duomo, Biblioteca e Archivio Capitolare.
Revue belge de musicologie. Shrewsbury, Library of Shrewsbury School.
Medieval theatre encompasses theatrical performance in the period between the fall of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century and the beginning of the. Medieval Drama, which flourished in the 15th century and paved the way for the great Elizabethian theatre, developed out of liturgical cerimonies. It is in the.
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For an on-line image, provide the url where I can see the image too. Christ before Herod York. Machinery was also used: to fly Christ up to heaven, have angels come down, etc. Rome, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana. Norton, English Mystery Plays. The desire for the drama, which seems to be instinctive in human nature the wide world over, from the Aleutian Islanders to the Bushmen of Australia, the impulse to personate and to take pleasure in beholding a story set forth in action,--this may have been dormant during the long centuries, or it may have found some means of gratifying itself unrecorded in the correspondence of the time or by the chroniclers.
Bulletin of the American Musicological Society. Die Musikforschung. Pirro: Histoire de la musique de la fin du XIVe. Instituta et monumenta.
International Musicological Society: Congress Report . Munich, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek. St Gallen, Stiftsbibliothek, Handschriftenabteilung. Lugano, Biblioteca Cantonale. When Constantinople supplanted Rome as the capital of civilization, dramatic literature, which had been a chief glory of Athens, ceased from off the earth.
For a thousand years and more the history of the drama is all darkness and vacancy; and we have not a single name recorded of any author writing plays to be performed by actors, in a theater, before an audience. The desire for the drama, which seems to be instinctive in human nature the wide world over, from the Aleutian Islanders to the Bushmen of Australia, the impulse to personate and to take pleasure in beholding a story set forth in action,--this may have been dormant during the long centuries, or it may have found some means of gratifying itself unrecorded in the correspondence of the time or by the chroniclers.
Acrobats there were, and wandering minstrels ; and now and again we catch glimpses of singers of comic songs and of roving amusers who entertained with feats of sleight-of-hand, or who exhibited trained animals. These performers, always popular with the public at large, were also called in upon occasion to enliven the solid feasts of the rulers. Gibbon records that at the supper-table of Theodoric, in the middle of the fifth century, buffoons and performers of pantomimes were "sometimes introduced to divert, not do offend, the company by their ridiculous wit.
The entertainments described by Gibbons and by Froissart, however long the interval between them, bear an obvious likeness to our latter-day "vaudeville suppers. But none the less dramatic literature, which had flourished so gloriously in Greece, and which had tried to establish itself in Italy, was dead at last; and even the memory of it seems to have departed, for, in so far as the works of the Attic tragedians and of the Roman comedians were known at all, they were thought of rather as poetry to be read than as plays that had been acted.
The art of acting was a lost art, and the theaters themselves fell into ruin. So it was that when the prejudice against the drama wore itself out in time, and when the inherent demand for the pleasure which only the theater can give became at last insistent, there was to be seen the spontaneous evolution of a new form, fitted specially to satisfy the needs of the people under the new circumstances. This new drama of the middle ages sprang into being wholly uninfluenced by the drama of the Greeks; it was, indeed, as free a growth as the Attic drama itself had been.
In its origin again, the medieval drama was not unlike the drama of the Greeks,--in that the germ or it was religious, and that it was slowly elaborated from what was at first only a casual accompaniment of public worship.
The new form had its birth actually at the base of the altar and at the foot of the pulpit; and it was fostered by the Christian church, the very organization that had cursed the old form when that was decadent and corrupted. Coming into being as an illustrative incident of the service on certain special days of the ecclesiastical year, the drama grew sturdily within the walls of the church until it was strong enough to support itself; and when at last it ventured outside, it remained for a long while religious in intent.
The history of its development is very much the same throughout Europe; and the religious drama of England is very like that of France from which, indeed, it is in some measure derived , just as the religious drama of Italy is like that of Spain, although neither of these had any appreciable influence on the other.
The reason for this uniformity is obvious enough. It was due to the double unity of the medieval world,--that which resulted from possession of the same religion and that which was caused by the consciousness of a former union under the rule of Rome. All the peoples of western Europe had inherited the same customs and the same traditions, because they had all been included in the Roman Empire, which had stretched itself from the Black Sea to the Atlantic.
When, at last, the vigor of the Roman government was relaxed, the barbarians of the north had broken in and had swept through southern Europe into Africa and into Asia. The Franks had taken Gaul for their own, the Goths had repopulated Italy, and the Vandals had traversed Spain; and as they had all of them accepted Christianity, sooner or later, the most distant lands had once more come under the sway of Rome.