Green, Lawrence C. (1999)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.
An Introductory chapter justifies the study of staged pageantry in terms of related research and acknowledges the aptness of the pageantic mode for the second tetralogy before glancing at pageantry within the contemporary social context.
A brief survey of pageantry in Shakespearean productions from the Restoration to 1900 provides an historical context for the thesis which shows that 'pictorial' pageantry, though vilified and much reduced in scale compared with Victorian literalism, proved resilient even in the face of the New Stagecraft and cinematic realism.
From the 1950s the intellectualisation of Shakespeare production which accompanied the emergence of the university-educated 'director', however, harnessed spectacle in the service of an interpretative vision that
demanded of audiences a capacity for analogical thinking akin to the 'cognitive eye' of Shakespeare's own audiences.
In an era of social flux and intellectual anxiety pageantry has provided a stable vocabulary for interrogating monarchal and political ideologies together with the vocabulary for the examination of the ritual basis of the human condition. Subsequently practitioners have utilised the meta-theatrical concept of pageantry and in a society increasingly defined through the visual emblem have sought to reach beyond 'image' towards understanding, thereby reaffirming the need to take theatrical pageantry seriously.
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