Religious Theatre in the Spanish Golden Age!

     Religious drama is a very important part of the Spanish Golden age. Once the country of Spain was united at the end of the fifteenth century, religious theatre was fully established and flourished (Wilson and Goldfarb 193). The importance of this religious theatre in Spain continued for a long time; much longer than in other countries (Wilson and Goldfarb 193). These religious dramas were first performed actually inside the churches during ceremonies and masses. 

     There a few aspects of Spanish religious theatre that differentiates theatre created in Spain from that of other cultures. Spanish religious plays were known as autos sacramentals, which were written for Corpus Christi festival. These one act plays would honor and refer to the sacraments (Wilson and Goldfarb 195). The plays would serve to validate the teachings of the church. The plays had characteristics of medieval morality and mystery plays (Wilson and Goldfarb 195). 

     In the 1600s, professional troupes performing autos sacramentals would have to perform their piece for the king and then the city council to approve before performing for the public (Wilson and Goldfarb 195). The troupes would tour through villages and mount their plays on carros, or wagons that the plays could travel on (Wilson and Goldfarb 195). All of these plays and their equipment were funded by the government (Wilson and Goldfarb 195). This shows that the production of religious plays was very important to the spanish culture at the time. Religious dramas are still important to Spain today as some are in fact still performed. 

 

Works Cited:

Wilson, Edwin, and Alvin Goldfarb. Living Theatre: History of Theatre. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2012. Print.

Shakespeare in Elizabethan Drama

     The time that Shakespeare wrote in is known as the Elizabethan age, or the English Renaissance. In this time literature, exploration, politics, and further education were booming in England, making this a valuable time fro playwriting (Wilson and Goldfarb 160). This was the time that William Shakespeare, one of the greatest play writes of all time began his work. Shakespeare was able to use so many valuable elements to creating a play set by those before him. He used English and Roman history, ancient Roman drama, Italian literature, the ideas of episodic plot structure, dramatic verse, Senecan devices, and more, to create some of the greatest theatrical works of all time (Wilson and Goldfarb 163). 

    Shakespeare, born in 1564, grew up in Stratford Upon Avon. His father was a leather glove maker (Wilson and Goldfarb 163). He attended the King’s New School in his childhood where he studied a lot of latin. It is recorded that he married Anne Hathaway in 1582 and began having children with her. By 1590 he was working in London as an actor and play write (Wilson and Goldfarb 163). 

    While in London, Shakespeare wrote narrative poems and worked for the London acting company. He associated with the leading troupe in London, the Lord Chamberlain’s men, later known as the King’s men. With this troupe he produced his many plays from about 1595 to 1614 (Wilson and Goldfarb 164). He was skilled in all aspects of theatre making his works so remarkable. Shakespeare was an actor, play write, and member of a dramatic company, who also understood the technical aspects of the theatre (Wilson and Goldfarb 164). His characters were complete and well rounded and the verse used in his writing were extraordinary (Wilson and Goldfarb 164). He had all the right tools to create brilliant and timeless works. 

Works Cited:

 

Wilson, Edwin, and Alvin Goldfarb. Living Theatre: History of Theatre. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2012. Print.

Neoclassicism in the Italian Renaissance

      Neoclassical ideals are rules of dramatic criticism fabricated during the Italian Renaissance (Wilson and Goldfarb 151). The neoclassical ideas had a great affect on theatre criticisms and theories there forward. Neoclassicists were influenced by the works of ancient Greek and Roman critics. Mainly, the ideas appear to be based on the models of Horace as they set out to make requirements for play writes to abide by in writing their plays (Wilson and Goldfarb 151).  

        A main principle of neoclassicism is known as decorum. Decorum is the idea that all fictional characters  in dramatic works need to act in ways suitable to their age, gender, and social class. It was an expectation that all characters would act appropriately to their status in life (Wilson and Goldfarb 152). In doing this, theatrical works would be more accurate to real life and reflect real people. The situations in plays would be relatable to every day people. This concept of making stories true to life is known as verisimilitude (Wilson and Goldfarb 152). This meant that events that did not happen in the real world were forbidden from the stage such as ghosts appearing or supernatural events taking place (Wilson and Goldfarb 152). Verisimilitude made stock characters “recognizable and verifiable from real life” (Wilson and Goldfarb 152). These concepts were big characteristics of the neoclassicists beliefs. 

       Neoclassicists also had a very certain definition of genre. There were specific traits that belonged to each genre that could not be strayed from. In their idea of tragedy, this type of play would only involve royalty. A tragedy must end in disparity. On the other hand, a comedy involved only the common people and ended in joy (Wilson and Goldfarb 153). These genres could never mix. Other rules the neoclassicists had were to keep all stage actions morally acceptable and exclude stage violence (Wilson and Goldfarb 153). The neoclassicists were very particular in their ways of doing things. These ideals had a great impact and are still looked upon today. 

 

Works Cited:

Wilson, Edwin, and Alvin Goldfarb. Living Theatre: History of Theatre. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2012. Print.