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The Hurt(ful) BodyPerforming and Beholding Pain, 1600-1800$
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Tomas Macsotay, Cornelis van der Haven, and Karel Vanhaesebrouck

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781784995164

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9781784995164.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM MANCHESTER SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.manchester.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Manchester University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSO for personal use.date: 24 September 2021

Spectacle and martyrdom: bloody suffering, performed suffering and recited suffering in French tragedy (late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries)1

Spectacle and martyrdom: bloody suffering, performed suffering and recited suffering in French tragedy (late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries)1

Chapter:
(p.25) 1 Spectacle and martyrdom: bloody suffering, performed suffering and recited suffering in French tragedy (late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries)1
Source:
The Hurt(ful) Body
Author(s):

Christian Biet

Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7228/manchester/9781784995164.003.0002

Biet’s chapter about French 17th- and 18th- century spectacle and text introduces the important theme of performance by reaffirming the key role of performing in terms of a public repetition of traumatic experiences already stirring the social fabric. At the start of the early modern period, when tragedy re-emerges in a sort of re-birth, tragic theatre becomes an alternative scenery for social action, a virtual scene for experimental lives, but also another scaffold and another judicial court for the audience, taking place inside theatres. Performing bodies, as Biet’s account reveals, are never at the start of a process of public spectacularization of violence. It thereby constitutes an essential meditation on where ‘art’ took up and discontinued the real to an early modern society that still knew spectacular punishment. Performers, as Biet sees them, engaged in anxieties opened by real trials and judiciary rulings, yet their repetitions permitted audiences to gain a more solid foothold in the ‘open wounds’ of an ongoing punitive judiciary.

Keywords:   Spectacle; Theatre; Punishment; Performance; France

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