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David Maskell

Print publication date: 1991

Print ISBN-13: 9780198151616

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198151616.001.0001

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Setting the Scene

Setting the Scene

(p.9) 1 Setting the Scene

David Maskell

Oxford University Press

In the seventeenth century, theatres were constructed on narrow buildings primarily built for tennis; the seats were classified according to status quo, but whether they were seats for the aristocrats or the common people, no seats offered much possibility for viewing the plays in proper perspective. This chapter begins with an overview of the structures of theatres in the seventeenth century and discusses the different factors that affected proper viewing such as the rowdy audience, seats, obstructions, and poor lighting. The chapter also discusses the misconceptions in Racine's use of stage space and scenery, including the relationship of the decor to the text of the plays. In Racinian plays, the texts of the plays are significant as they describe the decor that properly fits the plays' scenery.

Keywords:   theatres, tennis, aristocrats, audience, seats, obstructions, lighting, Racine

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