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Medieval theatre

  • Darwin SMITH, Raphaëlle CHOSSENOT, 15 June 2009

    Since the nineteenth century, ‘medieval theatre’ has generally been divided between ‘profane theatre’ and ‘religious theatre’. Within religious theatre (once known as ‘serious theatre’), distinctions are made between ‘liturgical drama’, and then ‘semi-liturgical drama’, both of which evolve towards what might be called the ‘mysteries’. As for the ‘profane theatre’ (also known as ‘comic theatre’), a number of genres have been identified: farce, satire, morality and sermons joyeux. These taxonomies and the accompanying evolutionary perspective, now put into question, nevertheless underlie almost every study published up to the end of the twentieth century, including the recent synthesis of Charles Mazouer, Le Théâtre Français du Moyen Âge (Paris: SEDES, 1998).

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