Médée by Seneca
Pour Jason, qu'elle a aidé à conquérir l. a. toison d'or, Médée a trahi son père. Pour lui encore, elle a tué son propre frère. Pour lui, elle a commis crime sur crime. Mais lorsque celui à qui elle a tout donné décide de los angeles répudier pour épouser Créüse, los angeles fille du puissant Créon, sa fureur ne connaît plus de limites : cette mère, pourtant aimante, sacrifiera ses deux enfants innocents sur l'autel de los angeles vengeance... Avec Médée, qu'il écrivit entre sixty three et sixty four de notre ère, Sénèque donne l'une de ses plus belles tragédies. L'amour et l. a. ardour y conduisent insensiblement à l'acte le plus inhumain : l'infanticide.
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In regard to Northbrooke’s own blind spots, I want to begin with a consideration of the strongly iconoclastic strain in his tract. Like many antitheatricalists, North-brooke attacks the stage in part because it allures the senses, particularly the eye. It invites its spectators to love outward spectacles and turn aside from the inner illuminations of faith. Hearing sermons, rather than seeing plays, is what North-brooke’s old man proposes to his young companion. As Barish and others have pointed out, anti-Catholic and antitheatrical polemic converge in this period because in a strongly Protestant discourse such as Northbrooke’s, the theater, like the Catholic Church, is constructed as committing its patrons to the worship of hollow idols: outward signs, not inward essences, things of the flesh, not of the spirit (Barish 1981:161–6).
It is a double-edged practice—part of a hermeneutics of suspicion, certainly, in that it assumes texts, and reading of texts, serve unannounced and unrecognized political ends; but part, too, of an ameliorative project to interrupt those processes by which privileged cultural narratives are used simply to legitimate the common sense of dominant social groups. In thinking about the relationship of the early modern public stage to the circulation of ideology within Tudor and Stuart culture, I want to look at two plays, Thomas Dekker’s The Whore of Babylon and Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, in both of which the representation of theatrical practices is a major motif.
In it parishioners are enjoined to remember their vocations “in as much as God hath appointed every man his degree and office, within the limits whereof it behoveth him to keep himself. 4 Excess in apparell offends not only God, but also the monarch. As the homily says, dress is now “so gorgeous, that neither Almightie God by his word can stay our proud curiousity in the same, neither yet godly and necessary laws, made by our princes, and oft THE STAGE AND SOCIAL STRUGGLE 33 repeated with the penalties, can bridle this detestable abuse, whereby both God is openly contemned, and the prince’s laws manifestly disobeyed, to the great peril of the realm” (258).