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Masques


  • The texts of 16th-17th century courtly entertainments that combined poetic drama, music, dance, song, lavish costume, and costly stage effects with a simple mythological or allegorical plot.

  • URI(s)

  • Instance Of

  • Scheme Membership(s)

  • Collection Membership(s)

  • Form

    • Masques
  • Variants

    • Masks (Drama)
  • Broader Terms

  • Related Terms

  • Closely Matching Concepts from Other Schemes

  • Sources

    • found: Baldick, C. The Oxford dictionary of literary terms, 2008(masque (mask). A spectacular kind of indoor performance combining poetic drama, music, dance, song, lavish costume, and costly stage effects, which was favoured by European royalty in the 16th and early 17th centuries, especially to celebrate royal weddings, birthdays and other special occasions. Members of the court would enter disguised, taking the parts of mythological persons alongside professional performers, and enact a simple allegorical plot, concluding with the removal of masks, a dance joined by members of the audience, and a banquet. The parliamentary Revolution of the 1640s brought this form of extravagance to an abrupt end.)
    • found: Cuddon, J.A. A dict. of literary terms and literary theory, 1998(masque. A masque was a fairly elaborate form of courtly entertainment which was particularly popular in the reigns of Elizabeth I, James I and Charles I, as it was in Italy (where the masque first acquired a distinctive form), and in France; combined poetic drama, song, dance, and music; costumes were often sumptuous. A prologue introduced a group of actors known to the audience. They entered in disguise or perhaps in some kind of decorated vehicle. Plot and action were slight. Usually the plot consisted of mythological and allegorical elements. Sometimes there might be a sort of 'debate.' At the end there was a dance of masked figures in which the audience joined. In short, it was a kind of elegant, private pageant.)
  • General Notes

    • The texts of 16th-17th century courtly entertainments that combined poetic drama, music, dance, song, lavish costume, and costly stage effects with a simple mythological or allegorical plot.
  • Change Notes

    • 2014-12-01: new
    • 2015-12-15: revised
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