The Medieval Theater of Cruelty
Rhetoric, Memory, Violence
By (author) Jody Enders
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Medieval Theater of Cruelty by Jody Enders
Book DescriptionWhy did medieval dramatists weave so many scenes of torture into their plays? Exploring the cultural connections among rhetoric, law, drama, literary creation, and violence, Jody Enders addresses an issue that has long troubled students of the Middle Ages. Theories of rhetoric and law of the time reveal, she points out, that the ideology of torture was a widely accepted means for exploiting such essential elements of the stage and stagecraft as dramatic verisimilitude, pity, fear, and catharsis to fabricate truth. Analyzing the consequences of torture for the history of aesthetics in general and of drama in particular, Enders shows that if the violence embedded in the history of rhetoric is acknowledged, we are better able to understand not only the enduring "theater of cruelty" identified by theorists from Isidore of Seville to Antonin Artaud, but also the continuing modern devotion to the spectacle of pain.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780801487835
(235mm x 156mm x 18mm)
Imprint: Cornell University Press
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Publish Date: 26-Apr-2002
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Jody Enders
Murder by Accident, Hardback (June 2009)
Drawing on four medieval events in which a theatrical performance precipitated deadly consequences, this book contends that the marginalization of intention in critical discourse is a mirror for the marginalization - and misunderstanding - of theater.
Death by Drama and Other Medieval Urban Legends, Paperback (July 2005)» View all books by Jody Enders
Was a convicted criminal executed on stage during a beheading scene? Was an unfortunate actor driven insane while playing a madman? Did a theatrical enactment of a crucifixion result in a real one? Did an androgynous young man seduce a priest when portraying a female saint? Death by Drama answers these and other questions while presenting a.
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