Stillness in Motion in the Seventeenth Century Theatre

By P. A. Skantze | Go to book overview

Prologue

Making sense

Heaven give thee moving graces!

Measure for Measure, II. ii

In the midst of the seventeenth century Thomas Hobbes published Leviathan beginning his discussion “Of Man” with “Of Sense,” and his discussion of sense with motion. Using the term “pressing” for the external action of an object upon the senses, he gives a picture of “man” worked upon by outward weights: “Neither in us that are pressed, are they anything else, but divers motions; (for motion, produceth nothing but motion)” (1996:10). In his second chapter, “Of Imagination,” Hobbes contrasts stillness with motion, “that when a thing lies still, unless somewhat els stirre it, it will lye still for ever, is a truth no man doubts of …when a thing is in motion, it will eternally be in motion” (10-11). For Hobbes, as for thinkers before and after him, motion, experienced as pressure, awakened the senses to ideas engendered by the objects around the moved body. Interpreting the consequences of the effects of motion required an accounting of the sensual reception and perception of both motion and stillness, a pair never far from each other in early modern philosophical investigations about the world of ideas, aural, written, and performed. 1

According to Hobbes, motion cannot be separated from the senses, and it is here that the investigation of the uses of stillness and motion on the early modern stage begins. In studies of performance, theorists have drafted and redrafted models of kinesthetic history, kinesthetic reception and production, acknowledging in their efforts the need for a theory that can evoke motion vividly enough to give us the ability to comprehend the performed world in motion. Anyone who looks to the world of performance in the seventeenth century must acknowledge with the pressed-upon Hobbes that one is studying a culture whose theories and practices assume the perceived world to be created kinetically, in a balance between the moving and the still. Our task then may be one of apprehension rather than comprehension, which will not surprise my readers.

-21-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Stillness in Motion in the Seventeenth Century Theatre
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments viii
  • Introduction 1
  • Prologue 21
  • 1 - Permanently Moving 30
  • 2 - Predominantly Still 59
  • 3 - Theatrically Pressed 82
  • 4 - Decidedly Moving 106
  • 5 - Perpetually Stilled 132
  • Epilogue 154
  • Notes 162
  • Bibliography 187
  • Index 202
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 214

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.