The Origins of Drama in Scandinavia

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9780859914581: The Origins of Drama in Scandinavia

This book takes a new approach to the question of whether some form of drama existed in early Scandinavia. Dr Gunnell examines the dialogic poems of the Poetic Edda, preserved in manuscripts from the late thirteenth century, from the viewpoints of both performer and audience. He argues that in order to be fully understood by the audience, the poems must have been presented in some dramatic fashion, and not merely chanted. He substantiates his claims by exploring characteristics found only in the manuscripts of these dialogic poems and in contemporary manuscripts of dramatic works from England and Northern France, suggesting that even in the thirteenth century, the dialogic poems must have been regarded as dramatic works. The examination is accompanied by the most complete review to date of the evidence for some kind of ritual drama having existed in pagan Scandinavia, looking at archaeological evidence for the use of masks and costumes, information contained in the sagas, and contemporary historical accounts. TERRY GUNNELL teaches English at Hamrahlid College, Iceland.

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This book is the first major study for fifty years of the evidence for some form of drama in early Scandinavia. Terry Gunnell examines the dialogic poems of the Poetic Edda, preserved in manuscripts from the late thirteenth century, from the viewpoints of both the performer and the audience, and argues that in order to be fully understood by the audience, the poems must have been presented in some dramatic fashion, and not merely chanted. He then points to certain characteristics, found only in the manuscripts of these dialogic poems and in contemporary manuscripts of dramatic works from England and northern France, as further evidence that in the thirteenth century the dialogic poems must have been regarded as dramatic works. This examination is accompanied by what is probably the most complete review to date of the evidence for some kind of ritual drama having existed in pagan Scandinavia. This review looks not only at the archaeological evidence concerning the use of masks and costumes, but also at the information contained in the sagas, and contemporary historical accounts from the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. In addition to this, a detailed review is made of those later dramatic folk traditions from Scandinavia (including Iceland, the Faroe Islands, Shetland and Orkney) that seem to have ancient roots, such as the traditions of the Yule-goat (julebukk) and the straw man.

About the Author:

TERRY GUNNELL is Professor of Folkloristics at the University of Iceland.

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Terry Gunnell
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Book Description Boydell Brewer Ltd, United Kingdom, 1995. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. This book takes a new approach to the question of whether some form of drama existed in early Scandinavia. Dr Gunnell examines the dialogic poems of the Poetic Edda, preserved in manuscripts from the late thirteenth century, from the viewpoints of both performer and audience. He argues that in order to be fully understood by the audience, the poems must have been presented in some dramatic fashion, and not merely chanted. He substantiates his claims by exploring characteristics found only in the manuscripts of these dialogic poems and in contemporary manuscripts of dramatic works from England and Northern France, suggesting that even in the thirteenth century, the dialogic poems must have been regarded as dramatic works. The examination is accompanied by the most complete review to date of the evidence for some kind of ritual drama having existed in pagan Scandinavia, looking at archaeological evidence for the use of masks and costumes, information contained in the sagas, and contemporogical evidence for the use of masks and costumes, information contained in the sagas, and contemporary histor. Bookseller Inventory # AAH9780859914581

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Terry Gunnell
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Book Description Boydell Brewer Ltd, United Kingdom, 1995. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. This book takes a new approach to the question of whether some form of drama existed in early Scandinavia. Dr Gunnell examines the dialogic poems of the Poetic Edda, preserved in manuscripts from the late thirteenth century, from the viewpoints of both performer and audience. He argues that in order to be fully understood by the audience, the poems must have been presented in some dramatic fashion, and not merely chanted. He substantiates his claims by exploring characteristics found only in the manuscripts of these dialogic poems and in contemporary manuscripts of dramatic works from England and Northern France, suggesting that even in the thirteenth century, the dialogic poems must have been regarded as dramatic works. The examination is accompanied by the most complete review to date of the evidence for some kind of ritual drama having existed in pagan Scandinavia, looking at archaeological evidence for the use of masks and costumes, information contained in the sagas, and contemporogical evidence for the use of masks and costumes, information contained in the sagas, and contemporary histor. Bookseller Inventory # AAH9780859914581

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