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Choruses, Ancient and Modern$
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Joshua Billings, Felix Budelmann, and Fiona Macintosh

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199670574

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199670574.001.0001

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A ‘Senecan’ Theatre of Cruelty: Audience, Citizens, and Chorus in Late-Sixteenth and Early Seventeenth-Century French Dramas

A ‘Senecan’ Theatre of Cruelty: Audience, Citizens, and Chorus in Late-Sixteenth and Early Seventeenth-Century French Dramas

Chapter:
(p.189) 11 A ‘Senecan’ Theatre of Cruelty: Audience, Citizens, and Chorus in Late-Sixteenth and Early Seventeenth-Century French Dramas
Source:
Choruses, Ancient and Modern
Author(s):

Christian Biet

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199670574.003.0012

In ‘A “Senecan” Theatre of Cruelty: Audience, Citizens, and Chorus in Late-Sixteenth and EarlySeventeenth-Century French Dramas’, Christian Biet discusses the neglected ‘Senecan’ corpus of French plays, where the chorus is present in the text but was absent from the performance. Biet explains this absent chorus with reference to the atrocities of the religious wars, after which an onstage collective community of witnesses is no longer possible, only spectators confronted with their own recent bloody history. Chorus in France at this time is not simply a question of poetics: it is also a question of political, religious, and social representation.

Keywords:   Seneca, Thirty Years War, Alexandre Hardy, chorus as witness, violence, religious wars, choral absence

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