Article

Italian Drama

Nerida Newbigin

in Medieval Studies

ISBN: 9780195396584
Published online April 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780195396584-0023
Italian Drama

More Like This

Show all results sharing these subjects:

  • Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500)
  • Literary Studies (Early and Medieval)
  • Medieval and Renaissance Philosophy
  • Byzantine and Medieval Art (500 CE to 1400)
  • Anglo-Saxon and Medieval Archaeology

GO

Show Summary Details

Preview

Drama—performances in which actors impersonate fictional, historical, or religious figures using dialogue, music, and costume—did not disappear with the fall of the Roman Empire. Mimes and jesters continued to perform vernacular entertainments in courts and marketplaces, while the rituals of the church grew, with the splendor of its ecclesiastical spaces, to include theatrical embellishment to the liturgy of its major feast days. From the 10th century, vernacular Italian mixed with Latin in liturgical plays for Easter and Christmas, and from the 14th century, confraternities in Umbria added laude drammatiche (short plays in verse, also called devozioni) to their devotional rituals throughout the year, and Easter plays on this model continued into the 16th century. The best-known plays, however, are the Florentine sacre rappresentazioni (plays on religious subjects, also called feste), disseminated in print from the 1480s and collected by bibliophiles from the 18th century onward. Renewed interest in Italian medieval drama is closely linked to Enlightenment and Risorgimento enthusiasm for the idea of Italy as a cultural and political identity. Italy seldom features strongly in surveys of European medieval drama, and the scholarship is often out of date. Major works by Alessandro D’Ancona, Vincenzo De Bartholomaeis, and Paolo Toschi are still in print and continue to dominate modern general histories of theater and responses to surviving texts and performances. Recent scholarship by scholars of theater and spectacle, of philology and literature, of confraternities and lay piety, and of art history has provided important new perspectives. This bibliography examines the different genres of drama up to the 14th century under single headings, and for the 15th century moves from northern to southern Italy through the major centers. The final sections deal with other fields where research has impacted significantly on drama studies.

Article.  14474 words. 

Subjects: Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500) ; Literary Studies (Early and Medieval) ; Medieval and Renaissance Philosophy ; Byzantine and Medieval Art (500 CE to 1400) ; Anglo-Saxon and Medieval Archaeology

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.