Celebration and Escape

  • Max Harris


Theatre’s effect on an audience depends in part on the evaluative stance taken by a particular performance towards the worlds from which it draws its raw material and in which its audience lives. The same may be said of biblical parable, spoken or enacted, and indeed of ‘theatrical’ or ‘incarnational’ revelation in general. Thus far, with respect to the theatre, we have considered predominantly formal relationships — between text and performance, between time and space on stage, between dramatic image and ‘real’ world, and between performance and audience — and we have sought points of contact between these and parallel relationships in what the biblical witnesses understood to be God’s mode of self-revelation. Now we turn from the manner of performance and revelation to the matter; specifically, to their respective assessments of human time and space, at one their medium and motif. For, in both the classical and Christian traditions, no less than in the modern theatre, there is often found barring the way to that mirth of which we spoke in the last chapter, a deep suspicion of human time and space.


Human Time Cliff Face Eternal Return Spanish Line Wrought Iron 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    R. Axton, European Drama of the Early Middle Ages (London: Hutchinson, 1974) p. 67.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    I. P. Sheldon-Williams, ‘The Greek Christian Platonist Tradition from the Cappodacians to Maximus and Eriugena’, in The Cambridge History of Later Greek and Early Medieval Philosophy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1967) pp. 515–16.Google Scholar
  3. 4.
    M. H. Marshall, ‘Aesthetic Values of the Liturgical Drama’, in J. Taylor and A. H. Nelson (eds), Medieval English Drama (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1972) p. 33.Google Scholar
  4. 5.
    M. Eliade, The Myth of the Eternal Return (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1971) pp. 92, 20–1, 89.Google Scholar
  5. 6.
    D. Cole, The Theatrical Event (Middletown, Conn.: Wesleyan University Press, 1975) pp. 9, 17 (quoting Eliade), 22–3, 46.Google Scholar
  6. 8.
    T. Hughes, quoted in A. C. H. Smith, Orghast at Persepolis (New York: Viking, 1973) pp. 244–5.Google Scholar
  7. 14.
    N. A. Scott, The Broken Center (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1966) p. 40.Google Scholar
  8. 17.
    E. Brunner, ‘The Christian Understanding of Time’, Scottish journal of Theology, IV (1951) p. 8.Google Scholar
  9. 27.
    E. Rostand, Cyrano de Bergerac, trans. B. Hooker (New York: Bantam, 1959) p. 183.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Max Harris 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Max Harris

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations