Types Of Courtly Performance During The Modern Court

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In the early modern court, the illusion of power could be just as important as power itself. If courtiers participated in the various performances of the court, they had the potential to gain significant amounts of influence and prestige. These types of courtly performances were shared by monarchs, courtiers and lesser figures albeit in sometimes very distinct manners. This performance of the court consisted of various different aspects, including: associating with influential individuals, royal ceremonies, courtliness, and bodily performance. One type of courtly performance, which was primarily a concern of the courtiers and lesser court figures, was the association and ingratiation of one’s self with influential court figures in order to gain status and respect. This was a performance in that courtiers were, in a way, required to form relationships on the basis of status and in the court friends were primarily a tool to advance one’s standing in the court. A prime example of this is William Chiffinch the Page of the Backstairs of Charles II’s court. A man of humble origins, Chiffinch was able to rise to a position of significant power and influence through his connection to a powerful individual, the king. “Like many of Charles II’s household servants… Chiffinch had begun this intimacy with the king before the Restoration. He and his elder brother, Thomas, had been introduced to the Prince of Wales and Charles I’s Oxford camp by Bishop Duppa of Salisbury” (Allen

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