Following a brief biography of Alexandra F. Processions, coronations, speeches, trials, and executions are all types of public performance that were both acts and texts: acts that originated in the texts that gave them their ideological grounding; texts that bring to us today a trace of their actual performance. While they were in a sense proclaiming the power of the relics in their possession, they also were participating in an act thought to be transcendent and useful to the community beyond the cloister--that is, as an act of charity. Retrieved Mar 12 2019 from David N. Klausner and Karen Sawyer Marsalek, eds.
Johnston 3-8 , this volume contains essays in three parts. These images brought to life in imagination the very events which were crucial to salvation history. This was achieved, as a number of essays make clear, through a variety of entertaining theatrical devices. For the Middle Ages and Renaissance, meaning and power were created and propagated through public performance. This relic had been brought back to the city by the crusaders in the thirteenth century and is still venerated in the Basilica of the Holy Blood on Fridays.
Penitential processions of various types likewise may be seen as extending experience into the realm of the liminal, nowhere more so than in the case of the notorious processions of lay flagellant confraternities flagellanti in Italy where laude were sung as the participants processed through the streets in their distinctive garments with hoods and open backs, the latter designed to receive their whips or scourges, sometimes with metal imbedded in the ends of the leather thongs so that their flesh would be literally bloodied. Klausner and Karen Sawyer Marsalek, eds. These initial entries involved a very specific protocol according to the local customs. It is left to another character to synthesize their works: the dwarf Tronc, a figure whose ambiguous gender and monstrous body are particularly appropriate to his role as combiner of genres. Theory, while well intentioned as a way of breaking through the preconceptions in which writings and documents of this period are imbedded, can also be an impediment to knowledge and is not a substitute for intimate understanding of the topic at hand. There are some problems with Lerud's discussion, however, since in his treatment of the complex matter of image theology, its relation to the plays, and cognition theory he does not take into account much of the recent research, nor does he confront the questions raised by the idea of the construction of collective memory as enunciated by Maurice Halbwachs. The essays in the book, however, are not intended to produce a taxonomy of processional performance since, with the exception of the survey article by the late and much missed C.
Performed as penance not only to assuage the sins of the participants but also to benefit everyone in the city, such processions were believed to be effective against the plague, a disease thought to be visited upon the inhabitants as punishment for their transgressions. The sorrow of the holy women when processing to the holy tomb with their ointment jars or thuribles importantly contrasts with their joy of the discovery of the fact of the Resurrection, and this clash of moods is capable of providing a stunning theatrical effect. At York the procession on this day was in conflict with the vernacular plays that had developed there, for the complaint is recorded that the pageants and the procession followed very nearly the same route through the city. In: Poet Heroines in Medieval French Narrative. The importance of theatrical civic pageantry has been emphasized by Roy Strong, Gordon Kipling, and others.
Though obviously less spectacular and emotional, penitential processions in the normal position at the beginning of the Mass on such occasions as Ash Wednesday, Good Friday, or times of great trouble--processions that involved the vested participants walking in silence and with great solemnity--would also have been remarkably impressive and moving. As visual, aural, and kinetic experience, processions vary greatly. For the Middle Ages and Renaissance, meaning and power were created and propagated through public performance. Moving Subjects: Processional Performance in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Kathleen Ashley and Wim Husken, eds. . Description For the Middle Ages and Renaissance, meaning and power were created and propagated through public performance.
Beginning in the fourteenth century, however, the most elaborate festal procession may well have been the one on the feast of Corpus Christi, when the Host was taken out of the church or cathedral and paraded through the town with all the participants taking part in an established order that itself was regarded as sacred. It is sometimes all too easy to slip into the vagaries of social science jargon. Kipling's recent Enter the King: Theatre, Liturgy, and Ritual in the Medieval Civic Triumph 1998 is in fact a splendid book which analyzes at length the political theology that was involved and identifies the close connections existing between royal entries and the liturgy, especially that of Advent and Palm Sunday. Nevertheless, we need to see the action here principally as a thing done to use Jane Harrison's terminology rather than as a mimetic act presented for an appreciative audience. A comparison in this regard may be made with Kipling's Enter the King, which has fifty illustrations interspersed in the text. Retrieved Mar 12 2019 from Ludus: Medieval and Early Renaissance Theatre and Drama, 5.
Clifford Flanagan, each of the authors takes up a separate matter for treatment. Radical Protestant iconoclasts later would likewise find physical images to be a source of contamination entering the mind through the eyes--an understanding of the role of vision that also eventually helped to suppress the mystery plays in the 1570s, though in re mote Kendal in Westmorland a Corpus Christi play was to continue to be presented for another generation. Cite this chapter as: Findley B. The latter do of course bear a strong resemblance to medieval processions, and in Anglican churches even the order of the participants may follow the directions specified in the Saturn rite which was dominant in the late Middle Ages throughout a large segment of medieval England. Stokes, is fully cognizant of revisionist history which has so greatly altered the understanding of the context in which the drama as well as entertainments such as church ales existed in the late sixteenth century and beyond.
Diverse in their objects of study, the essays in this volume all examine the links between the actual events of public performance and the textual origins and subsequent representation of those performances. In the Depositio, Elevatio, and Visitatio ceremonies and plays for Holy Week and Easter, both penitential and festal processions come into play, and I wish also that this had been emphasized by the writers in this book since here processional performance and ceremonial drama come into direct contact. The final essay in the book, by James D. This book examines various links between the actual events of public performance and the textual origins and subsequent representation of those performances. The essays here are concentrated upon power, particularly in its religious and political aspects, gender and theatricality. Among the festal processions certain ones are of considerable complexity--for example, the Palm Sunday procession. Theatrical expression surely requires to be viewed as a larger category than scripted stage plays and the involvement of actors who impersonate characters in an action which has a beginning, middle, and end.
Extreme Protestants in Queen Elizabeth I's time condemned even the mental act of imagining images of religious scenes or of individuals such as saints. Klausner and Karen Sawyer Marsalek, eds. Apart from the useful maps and diagrams, the quality of the few illustrations is poor, and certainly in essays such as these many more would have been desirable since the authors here are dealing with performances of types that are shown in visual media of the periods and places under consideration. The procession thus involved a process of exchange between the monks and the lay people in which the latter received spiritual benefits and the monastery in turn benefitted from gifts from grateful folk who had come to see the image and relics and to venerate the saint. In the present book, Jesse Hurlbut bases his discussion of initial entries of the dukes of Burgundy on research into 185 ceremonial entrances into cities under their rule.