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Hrotsvit and Medieval Drama. Medieval comedy No scripts of medieval comedy or references to comic performances survive. There is hardly such a thing a.

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Presentation on theme: "Hrotsvit and Medieval Drama. Medieval comedy No scripts of medieval comedy or references to comic performances survive. There is hardly such a thing a."— Presentation transcript:

1 Hrotsvit and Medieval Drama

2 Medieval comedy No scripts of medieval comedy or references to comic performances survive. There is hardly such a thing a medieval drama…

3 Hrotsvit’s place in history Medieval drama originated from Easter liturgy as a trope of the Introit but its development wasn’t linear

4 HROSWITHA ( ) (Hros-uind) Ego clamor validus Gandersheimensis

5 Works legends of saints Six comedies plays Epic poems

6 Life (based on prefaces) Born 935 aristocrat exceptionally learned

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8 Gandersheim Founded in ca. 850 In 950 becomes a “free abbey” independent of the crown An impressive library most likely including Terence, Virgil, and Ovid

9 As a canoness Hrosvit would Take part in the religious life of the community Take vows of chastity and obedience, but not poverty Receive guests, come and go without permission Own property and have servants

10 Religious feelings “He has given me ability to learn—yet of myself I should know nothing. ”

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13 Hrotsvit and Terence Hrotsvit states that she wants her plays to be read (possibly aloud) instead of Terence, whose text was frequently used in school recitations

14 Aemulatio Hrotsvit does not intend to become a dimidiatus Terentius; She considers her output to be moral superior to Terence from whom she borrows formal devices

15 DULCITIUS

16 World-views Christian True beatitude possible after death Contempt for physical pleasure and pain, wealth, prestige Goal: spiritual wedding with God Pagan Enjoyment of external beauty Contempt for spiritual values Goal: enjoyment of life

17 First Confrontation: Power Diocletian: my power Old religion: ancient religion, the worship of the gods Christianity: ‘a new superstition’ The power belongs to God Virgins: corruption, idolatry Deus omnipotens

18 First Confrontation : Physical love Dulcitius: –I have been captured by their appearance Dulcitius’ means: –Flattery and thereats Outcome: transformation of the outside to reveal this inside Virgins: –May God protect us Virgins’ means –singing hymns at night prayer, privation Outcome: they remain pure in spite of attempts to defile them

19 Insert: Humiliation of Dulcitius Humilated in the eyes the girls who witness his rendez-vous with pots and pans Humiliated in the eyes of his soldiers who take him for a demon Beaten by the palace guards Recognized and pitied by his wife Pitied by Diocletianus

20 Third Confrontation: Sisinnus (Pain&Death) Part 1: Agapes& Chionia Sisinnius tries to convert them through threats He forbids them to practice their religion When disobeyed, sentences them to death Agapes and Chionia continuously pray to Eternal Father and his Son Ask for death Miracle: Their bodies bear no trace of fire; their spirits ascend to heaven

21 Third Confrontation: Sisinnus (Pain&Death) Part 2: Hirene Sisinnus threatens her with a slow death and rape Hirene is eager to die (the more I suffer, the more I will triumph) and not afraid of rape: voluptas parit poenam

22 GRAND FINALE Soldiers come back and tell Sisennius that two strangers placed Hirene on a top of a mountain Sisennius and his soldiers quickly hurry up to see what happened; They kill her with an arrow; dying Hirene speaks of her triumph

23 Is Dulcitius a comedy? By ancient standards? By modern standards?

24 Aristotle on Comedy “Comedy is, as we have said, an imitation of characters of a lower type, not, however, in the full sense of the word bad, the Ludicrous being merely a subdivision of the ugly. It consists in some defect or ugliness which is not painful or destructive. To take an obvious example, the comic mask is ugly and distorted, but does not imply pain.”

25 From Wikipedia Comedy is the use of humor in the form of theater, where it simply referred to a play with a happy ending, in contrast to a tragedy. A recognized characteristic of comedy is that it is an intensely personal enjoyment. People frequently don't find the same things amusing, but when they do it can help to create powerful bonds.humor theaterplay tragedy

26 From Wikipedia Mel Brooks on comedy and tragedy: "Tragedy is when I cut my finger. Comedy is when you fall down an elevator shaft and you die."Mel Brookstragedy

27 Characteristics of Comedy Play Humor (something some people find funny) Happy ending


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