Defining Boundaries in Theatrical and Ceremonial Space in the Middle Ages
Since hermeneutics of spatial organization as one of the phenomenological elements in the interpretation of the medieval theater seems to be gaining momentum, let me contribute yet again to this interest. This time, however, I am enlarging the scope of my investigation by looking at early English drama in the context of the treatment of space in medieval ceremonies. Defining boundaries of theatrical space in the Middle Ages is not a one-way process meant to establish factors ranging from stage dimensions to actors’ interactions with the audience, to the spilling of the performance into the surrounding area. Rather, in order to discuss the medieval understanding of space in relation to the spectacle of the audience, one should also consider some implications disclosed by taking a reverse approach.
the medieval audience was involved in a theatrical spectacle to a much greater degree than later audiences. To understand, then, the principles behind such concepts as, for example, awareness of space as a highly concretized experience of visual data loaded with meaning, can help us to see these concepts in relation to a larger context of religion, philosophy, and ethics. (Smith 232)
KeywordsTheatrical Space Popular Culture Civic Culture Critical Pursuit City Space
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