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Drama Throughout The Ages Essay

835 words - 4 pages

The most significant contributions to the development of theater came from the Medieval Age. The rebirth of theater began at this time within the Church as a way to supplement the mass with religious based performances. As the performances developed and became increasingly complex, drama became increasingly secular which allowed for the expansion of topics outside of the religious realm. The medieval theater, while a setback from the great dramas of the Greek and Roman periods, gave major contributions such as the use of the vernacular and the development of more detailed and symbolic costumes.
The Church in the medieval age helped to establish the return of dramas as it incorporated elements as supplementation to the Mass. These plays were based on religious ideals and their plot was usually always based off of a Biblical story, such as the Passion. The redevelopment of the theater in the Church was significant in that it brought back drama but it was only used as a springboard to revitalize and expand theater throughout the Renaissance and Elizabethan age. The theater saw increasing secularization in the later part of the medieval age as plays were performed outside of the Church and covered less religious topics. The medieval age saw some of most important time in the history of drama as the theater returned after the Dark Ages and began its great expansion across Europe.
The medieval age also saw some of the greatest contributions to theater. The biggest influence on later theater was the changing of the language used in the plays from Latin to the vernacular. This was crucial in spreading drama as it allowed the lower classes to understand the performances and contributed to the expansion of theater across Europe in the Renaissance age. Another significant contribution made during this time was the development of costumes. In the Roman dramas, actors wore simple togas and masks to represent the character they were portraying but after the Dark Ages “costumes portrayed occupation, social class, and moral status. A character wearing white showed mercy, red was righteousness and green symbolized truth. Props had the same functions that costumes had” (app). The costumes and props seen in this time would be developed further in the Renaissance and Elizabethan age to follow where they became more colorful, extravagant, and symbolic in the performances. The Renaissance theater saw the extravagant costumes develop more and more “to depict with characterization the qualities that character represented.” The...

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