By Janette Dillon

ISBN-10: 0521032156

ISBN-13: 9780521032155

This is often the 1st significant learn of using different languages in medieval and Renaissance English drama. For the interval 1400 to 1600 Janette Dillon examines why different languages more and more invade English performs, and the way their importance is illuminated through advancements in church and kingdom, specifically the advancing Reformation and increasing English nationalism. In marked distinction to different comparable reviews, Dillon makes a speciality of drama as functionality and employs a variety of works, from the secret cycles to The Spanish Tragedy, and eventually Shakespeare.

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124)5 in a natural way that seems to anticipate such mixed attendance as the norm. Just as the lay congregation would have heard the Latin liturgical drama performed inside the church, so many of the clergy must have attended vernacular drama outside, even far outside, the church. Expectations constructed by the place of performance are crucial. 6 Tydeman, however, cites the case of a performance of one of Terence's comedies in Latin before a mixed audience of clergy and laity at the 34 Language and stage episcopal palace in Metz in 1502 which provoked the non-clerical element of the audience to riot when they realised that they were not going to understand the play [The Theatre in the Middle Ages, p.

483). It is, she argues, identical with the voice of the Expositor in most cycles, but in the Wakefield cycle, which has no such character, it can be taken on temporarily by numerous characters. This argument is misleading to a certain extent, since even cycles which have expositors allow other characters (God is an obviously necessary one) to speak in this voice (see below). And although the voice of the church, as Dunn defines it, is not a purely Latin one, it is heavily influenced by Latin and looks back towards Latin as its legitimating source.

70-2), but his most characteristic use of Latin offers it to laymen as the sacrament is offered, to be taken on faith rather than subjected to reason. For Lydgate the divide between laymen and Latin is starker and more patronising. The dismissal of the uneducated populace as incapable of understanding the mysteries of theology surfaces again in the poem, in English, when a character first labelled simply as the 'Cherl', or the 'Vyleyn', and subsequently identified as 'Rude Entendement' 'Verbum Dei' and the rise of English 23 (Ignorant Understanding), offers a challenge to Reason.

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Language and Stage in Medieval and Renaissance England by Janette Dillon


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