The civic triumph, or royal entry, was one of the great 'spectacles of state' that stood at the heart of national and civic life in the Middle Ages. It originated in the late fourteenth century as a vast theatrical ritual that transformed the city into a stage and involved king and people alike as actors in a cosmic drama. It endured until a more neoclassical form replaced it in the late sixteenth century. Enter The King examines the medieval civic triumph not primarily as a programme of political emblems, but rather as a theatrical ritual designed to inaugurate the sovereign into his reign. As the king entered the city gates, he became the chief actor in an elaborate court spectacle defined by the citizens' pageantry and witnessed by his subjects. This inaugural purpose, indeed, gave the medieval civic triumph its distinctive form and purpose. Enter the King examines, for the first time, the ritual purposes and dramatic form of these spectacles.
It explores the ways in which these ritualistic shows often draw their central ideas and inspiration from the medieval church's complex Advent liturgy to celebrate and acclaim the king's First Coming and to dramatize the meaning of the king's entry in terms of Christ's entry into Jerusalem. The roles which royal and civic actors performed on these occasions served to define the political, social, and religious ideals that bound them together into a community. Enter the King studies the medieval civic triumph as an international form of drama and as one of the defining rituals of late medieval society in England, France, and the Low Countries.
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(225mm x 146mm x 26mm)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
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