Analysis Of Neil Fraser 's ' The Golden Age '

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Theatre History Explained Neil Fraser outlines the history of theatre from Greek and Roman times, all the way through the twentieth century. Fraser makes a claim that theatre truly began in Greek culture with even the Roma’s looking upon that time as “the golden age”. “The Romans looked back on Greek theatre of circa 600BC as a golden age, and we can still make a case for the great plays of that period as having never been bettered.” (Fraser, 2004, pg.5). Some of the more important highlights of this book include the transformation of theatre as we view it today from what it originally looked like. It’s roots in Greek religious ceremonies progressing from a chorus of priests speaking all together in unison to a solo voice being used as an…show more content…
These “pageants” gave birth to a new type of play called “mystery” or “miracle” cycles (Fraser, 2004). From there Fraser concludes that the medieval theatrical genres eventually became “outmoded - or rather, grew and developed into new ones.” (Fraser, 2004, pg.45). From Medieval we turn to the Elizabethan stage which is what most everyone thinks of in regards to theatre and performance art. In this stage we begin to see a form of censorship and theatre becoming less and less involved with the church (Fraser,2004). We also begin to see a change from outdoor theaters to the indoor theaters with audience seated in front of a large rectangular stage and balconies to hold more affluent patrons (Fraser, 2004).
The Shakespearean Stage 1574-1642 In the Elizabethan era, also known as the Shakespearean era, we see less and less of plays drawing from the church and more of the strolling entertainers that roamed from place to place performing. From strolling minstrels we move to professional entertainers in repertory companies with significant financial backing (Gurr, 1970). “The statute of 1572 required each company to be authorized by one noble or two judicial dignitaries of the realm:” (Gurr, 1970, pg.19). These companies were employed by the royals and their their major aim was to pease the
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