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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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Racine the Director

Racine the Director

(p.120) 5 Racine the Director

David Maskell

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the keen theatrical eye of Racine, watchful for bodily movement and facial expression that are significant for the proper delivery of his plays. In the accounts of his sons, Racine is depicted as a playwright and a director who is particular about the delivery of his plays. He dictated the tone, explained the meaning of his verses, and showed gestures to his actors. He even annotated directions such as pitch and volume in his manuscripts. The chapter also discusses the different elements that distinguished Racine as a playwright and a director from others during his time. In the succeeding sections the actio, the listener's performance, the interrogations, and the theatrics of visual spectacle are introduced and discussed. In the context of rowdy Parisian theatres, Racine succeeded by shaping the scene through visual focus, by making arguments relevant to movement in stage space, and by linking discourse and spectacle.

Keywords:   Racine, director, tone, pitch, volume, actio, interrogations, spectacle

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