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  • Author or Editor: Elsa Strietman x
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In: Drama, Performance and Debate
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Abstract

Many rhetoricians’ plays from the Low Countries use material that is judged to be historical: stories from the Bible, the classics, European history, the latter sometimes drawn from contemporary or near-contemporary events. This essay will explore how and why playwrights used this material, to what extent they showed an awareness of the past as ‘other’ and how they dealt with that otherness. These playwrights seem to appropriate and absorb into their own reality the potential ‘otherness’ of the past effortlessly and unquestioningly. Moreover, there seems to be a strong sense of continuity, or rather, connectedness: one’s own time can be seen in the light of the past and different parallels with the past are highlighted. Special attention is paid to the fact that certain plays about historical events, be they related to dynastic topics or to biblical stories, appeared not to have lost their relevance for later generations; the result is that a play written decades ago became historical in itself. This remarkable fact is in greater detail illustrated in an analysis of a number of plays, notably from a rhetoricians’ chamber from Hasselt still active at the end of the seventeenth century.

In: Staging History
In: The Year’s Work in Modern Language Studies
In: The Year’s Work in Modern Language Studies
In: The Year’s Work in Modern Language Studies
In: The Year’s Work in Modern Language Studies
In: The Year’s Work in Modern Language Studies