Classical Theatre

Entertainment, particularly in theatrical forms, is one of the major factors in the society that has undergone significant changes throughout the history. There are, of course, many things that affected those changes: culture, religion, technology, etc. How religion affected the theatrical entertainment in the society will be the first focus of this paper.

1. How did the Roman Catholic Church influence the developments of theatre during the Middle Ages?

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During the Middle Ages, there has been a period called the “Dark Ages”. Due to the fall of Rome, the government became unstable. But the church remained firm. Thus, the church had the power and authority over the society at that time. Concurrently, the entertainment seemed to be very secular, and paganism became more publicized. Upon their discretion, the church decided to stop it. However, since secularism cannot be taken out of the society, the church had no choice but to allow it. Thus, the whole society continued to have theatrical performances.

In turn, the church also adopted the theatrical form of entertainment but used it for spiritual purposes. Especially during Christian ceremonies like Christmas celebrations and Easter Sundays, the church held theatre plays to better convey its message to the public. Between 925 and 975, the church started to have choruses and dramas like the “Quem Quaeritis” and “The Three Marys”. The staging was also changed during church dramas especially when portraying heaven and hell. Moreover, the greatest influence of church dramas and other plays is giving the public a better form of entertainment. The church endeavored to bring morality to the society.

Sadly, the culture drastically changed as centuries passed by. Secularism already gained greater prominence than religious entertainment. Nevertheless, the church, at least, did its part.

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2. Which Hollywood actors would you cast in primary roles in Everyman: Everyman, Death, Fellowship, Good-Deeds, and Knowledge?

A. Everyman: Robert Downey Jr. He was addicted to drugs and alcohol. Despite serious drug problems, he still insisted much on those things. Today, he is still being stopped by police officers from taking more drugs. Just like Everyman, Robert should realize that though he is popular and rich by now, he will still face serious diseases and eventually, death. He should ponder upon that reality.

B. Death: Lon Chaney. Since he is the first American horror film star, he could be very good in scaring people. Scaring people can also be an instrument for waking up people into the right senses. Just like Death, Lon can make Everyman scared of death and eventually make him ponder upon the reality.

C. Fellowship: Nicole Kidman. She is one of the most friendly Hollywood actors and actresses. Humility, politeness, and modesty are manifested even in her interviews. Although many Hollywood stars help people, only a few of them remain friendly relationships even in the midst of problems at work. Like Fellowship, Nicole knows how to relate well to other people. Thus, Nicole can take the role of Fellowship.

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D. Good-Deeds: Tyler Perry. Although Good-Deeds conveys a message that good deeds cannot save Everyman from the anger of God, the reason Tyler Perry matches the role is that he is commonly portrayed in his movies as a good man. Particularly in his famous movies “Why Did I Get Married?” and “Good Deeds”, Tyler is greatly shown as the good guy.

E. Knowledge: Jackie Chan. In his latest movies, Jackie Chan often takes the role of being a master or teacher. Knowledge’s role is giving counsel to Everyman and telling him what should be done. Likewise, Jackie Chan’s role in movies is teaching and training his students. Therefore, at some point, Jackie Chan matches the role of Knowledge.

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