Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Le Theatre Francais Du Moyen Age

Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Le Theatre Francais Du Moyen Age

Article excerpt

Charles Mazouer, Le Theatre franais du moyen age (Paris: Editions SEDES, 1998). 432 PP.; 24 illustrations. ISBN 2-7181-9174-0. No price given.

This is the first single-authored history of the full range of medieval French theatre since Grace Frank's still useful study (The Medieval French Drama, Oxford, 1954); and the first written in French since Gustave Cohen's Le Theatre en France au moyen age (Paris, 1928; 2nd edn 1958). Eschewing the problematic religious/`profane' diptych, Charles Mazouer here takes a broadly chronological approach, dividing his analysis into five chapters of unequal length, devoted to: the theatre of the Church (approximately 50 pages); the theatre of the town in the thirteenth century (30 pages); the fourteenthcentury Miracles de Notre-Dame (20 pages); `1e theatre edifiant' (mystery and morality plays in the fifteenth century; 120 pages); comic theatre in the fifteenth century (130 pages). One of the most valuable features of Charles Mazouer's survey is that it takes carefully into account the substantially increased research interest of the last twenty years. The fact that much of this research has been concentrated on the later period explains the marked shift in focus in this study compared to those of Cohen and Frank, where pride of place was given to the theatre before the fourteenth century. Thus, whilst old favourites such as the Adam, Courtois dArras, the Feuillee, Palatinus, etc. are certainly given their due attention, it is good to see more space devoted to such previously neglected genres as the moralites, the sorties, the sermons joyeux, and the monologues dramatiques, again taking into account recent research activity both inside and outside France, as the extensive bibliography indicates. …

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