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Wim Hüsken

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Wim Hüsken

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Wim Hüsken

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Wim Hüsken

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Wim Hüsken

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Wim Hüsken

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Staging Scripture

Biblical Drama, 1350-1600

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Edited by Peter Happé and Wim Hüsken

Against a background which included revolutionary changes in religious belief, extensive enlargement of dramatic styles and the technological innovation of printing, this collection of essays about biblical drama offers innovative approaches to text and performance, while reviewing some well-established critical issues. The Bible in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries appears in a complex of roles in relation to the drama: as an authority and centre of belief, a place of controversy, an emotional experience and, at times, a weapon. This collection brings into focus the new biblical learning, including the re-editing of biblical texts, as well as classical influences, and it gives a unique view of the relationship between the Bible and the drama at a critical time for both.

Contributors are: Stephanie Allen, David Bevington, Philip Butterworth, Sarah Carpenter, Philip Crispin, Clifford Davidson, Elisabeth Dutton, Garrett P. J. Epp, Bob Godfrey, Peter Happé, James McBain, Roberta Mullini, Katie Normington, Margaret Rogerson, Charlotte Steenbrugge, Greg Walker, and Diana Wyatt.
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Interludes and Early Modern Society

Studies in Gender, Power and Theatricality

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Edited by Peter Happé and Wim Hüsken

The essays in this collection, contributed by an internationally distinguished group of scholars, bring up to date many aspects of the criticism of the English Interludes. The development of these plays was a significant part of the history of the growth of English drama in the sixteenth century to the extent that they may be regarded as its main stream. Arising by means of a felicitous combination of the development of printing and the growth of a professional theatre, plays of this type quickly became a forum for the presentation and exploration of many contemporary themes. They became a useful means of disseminating a wide variety of opinions and public concerns as well as exhibiting at times the intellectual brilliance of the Renaissance.
The essays here are concentrated upon power, particularly in its religious and political aspects, gender and theatricality. The political and religious upheavals of the Reformation under the Tudor monarchy form a background as well as a focus at times. In particular the position of women in sixteenth-century society is examined in essays on several plays. There is also discussion of the development of theatrical techniques as playwrights worked closely with small acting companies to reach a wide audience ranging from the royal court to the common streets. This was achieved, as a number of essays make clear, through a variety of entertaining theatrical devices.
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Acts and Texts

Performance and Ritual in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance

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Edited by Laurie Postlewate and Wim Hüsken

For the Middle Ages and Renaissance, meaning and power were created and propagated through public performance. 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. Literature, as well, was for the pre-modern public a type of performance: throughout the medieval and early modern periods we see a constant tension and negotiation between the oral/aural delivery of the literary work and the eventual silent/read reception of its written text. The current volume of essays examines the plurality of forms and meanings given to performance in the Middle Ages and Renaissance through discussion of the essential performance/text relationship. The authors of the essays represent a variety of scholarly disciplines and subject matter: from the “performed” life of the Dominican preacher, to coronation processions, to book presentations; from satirical music speeches, to the rendering of widow portraits, to the performance of romance and pious narrative. 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.
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Les Mystères

Studies in Genre, Text and Theatricality

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Edited by Peter Happé and Wim Hüsken

This collection of essays in English by scholars of international standing presents new insights into the contexts in which the fifteenth-century French mystères were created. It is centred upon the remarkable outburst of large-scale plays written for urban production and dealing with biblical and hagiological subjects which transformed the art of theatre in France and gave rise to a new and multi-faceted theatrical culture. Among the subjects treated are the means by which surviving texts preserve theatrical practice, and some of the ways in which the work of the principal dramatists Eustache Mercadé, Arnoul Gréban and Jean Michel interact with one another and with the work of others. The nature of some surviving texts is subjected to close scrutiny and this includes detailed work upon some manuscripts and their typology. Attention is also given to the related moralités, the convent drama, and to the large corpus of Catalan plays which deal with similar topics but in different circumstances. Further contexts are addressed through paradramatic aspects including sermons and the chansons de geste, as well as the political environment. One recurring feature is the nature and activities of ubiquitous and powerful evil characters and their theatrical and theological significance.