Scientific article

Forms of Pretence in Pre-Modern Drama: From the Visitatio Sepulchri to Hamlet

ContributorsBrazil, Sarah Jane
Published inEuropean Medieval Drama, vol. 20, p. 181-202
Publication date2016

An English Visitatio Sepulchri sequence includes rubrications which have led critics to label its mechanisms of pretence as ‘mimetic' or ‘representational'. What else could be more appropriate to a text that exhorts monks to move ‘in likeness of' (ad similitudinem) the 3 Maries on Easter morning, and when all actions executed are to be in the manner of ‘a copying, an imitation' (ad imitationem)? It is possible, as I will argue throughout this article, that imitation is a term with different implications in pre-modern performance practices. Modern critical terminology is unsuitable for the form of ‘agreed pretence' at work not only in this instance, but also in other forms of pre-modern drama. This paper will investigate the implications of the terms imitatio and similitudo within the context of sung liturgical performances, as well as considering how such instructions might complicate critical understandings of pre-modern drama. I contend that these terms are employed with a flexibility that forces a wider and more accommodating engagement with pre-modern dramatic forms and practices.

  • Mimesis
  • Imitatio
  • Liturgical performance
  • Visitatio Sepulchri
  • Early English drama
  • Hamlet
  • Representation
  • Acting styles
  • Iconography of liturgical performance
  • Movement
  • Kinesic intelligence.
Citation (ISO format)
BRAZIL, Sarah Jane. Forms of Pretence in Pre-Modern Drama: From the Visitatio Sepulchri to Hamlet. In: European Medieval Drama, 2016, vol. 20, p. 181–202.
Main files (1)
Article (Published version)
  • PID : unige:103045
ISSN of the journal1378-2274

Technical informations

Creation03/11/2018 6:45:00 PM
First validation03/11/2018 6:45:00 PM
Update time03/15/2023 7:59:21 AM
Status update03/15/2023 7:59:20 AM
Last indexation01/17/2024 2:29:34 AM
All rights reserved by Archive ouverte UNIGE and the University of GenevaunigeBlack