Scholastic debates about the meanings of words, like our consideration of cause, soul and accommodate in the previous chapter, seem a far cry from the experience of plays in performance. In one important sense they are: an actor’s language is alive and not dead; and the moment of speech has no leisure for compromise or indecision. We do not go to the theatre to recognise the meanings of words; we react to performances, to total embodiments of a play’s text.
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- 1.Works of John Keats, edited by H. Buxton Forman (Glasgow, 1901), vol. V, p. 230.Google Scholar