Essay On The Renaissance Theatre

869 Words4 Pages
During the Middle Ages theatre began a new cycle of development that paralleled the emergence of the theatre from ritual activity in the early Greek period. Whereas the Greek theatre had grown out of Dionysian worship the medieval theatre originated as an expression of the Christian religion. The two cycles would eventually merge during the Renaissance. Between the Classical and early Renaissance periods theatre was kept alive by the slenderest of threads the popular entertainers who had dispersed to wander, alone or in small groups, throughout Europe. These were the mimes, acrobats, dancers, animal trainers, jugglers, wrestlers, minstrels, and storytellers who preserved vital skills that survive in the theatre today. They also brought a…show more content…
This dramatic form had two main sources. One was the symbolic ritual dramas of the seasons such as the Plow Monday play in which a plow was decorated and pulled around the village or the European folk drama of the Wild Man of the Woods in which a figure covered with leaves, representing winter, was ritually hunted and “killed.” The other source was the mimetic elements in dances held at village feasts. The Morris dance (probably Moorish in origin; from Spanish morisco), famed in England but also performed in medieval continental Europe, was strongly mimetic and had dramatic elements in its use of the fool or clown character. It can also be linked with ancient trance dances in its occasional use of the hobbyhorse. The various forms of sword dance found in Europe are another…show more content…
However, its significance in the development of theatre was that, being a style with which everyone was familiar, it could provide a rich stimulus for the more serious theatre that supplanted it. Many farcical scenes from folk dramas were included as interludes in the later religious plays, making them more vigorous and balancing didacticism with entertainment. Divorced from their validating mythology by the domination of Christian myths, the pagan celebrations soon began to lose their primary function, and eventually their true meaning was

More about Essay On The Renaissance Theatre

Open Document