Actor as Anti-Character: Dionysus, the Devil, and the Boy Rosalind

Synopsis

Working from the premise that the stage performer's primary functions derive from celebrative rituals, this book describes the figure of the actor as "anti-character" in premodern popular theatre. Particularly in plays belonging to the popular, performative tradition, the actor simultaneously impersonated and subverted the character of the playtext. By doing so, he affirmed the ritual-celebrative authority of the performer and audience over the ideological authority of the written text. Included are close analyses of three major playtexts in performance: Aristophanes' Frogs, the medieval mystery plays, and Shakespeare's As You Like It.

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