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

Published in European Medieval Drama. 2016, vol. 20, p. 181-202
Abstract 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.
Keywords MimesisImitatioLiturgical performanceVisitatio SepulchriEarly English dramaHamletRepresentationActing stylesIconography of liturgical performanceMovementKinesic intelligence.
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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. https://archive-ouverte.unige.ch/unige:103045

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Deposited on : 2018-03-20

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