European Influences and National Tradition in Medieval Hungarian Theater


In lieu of an abstract, the first paragraph of the essay follows:

Although dramatic representation has been said to have been first developed with agricultural rituals, semi-professional and professional acting and theatrical performance cannot be imagined without the development of an urban society and independent town life which established production and trade at a distance from agriculture. Such social conditions, of course, characterized ancient Athens as well as the medieval cities, which were centers of Greek drama and mystery festivities respectively. When the dramatic spectacle is homogeneous, intuitive, and unchangeable, it is nothing more than a ritual. Theater begins with a specialization which generates detached institutions of acting and staging and presupposes an audience and a demand for combining moral teaching or other elements with entertaining matter. Theater means competition. The basis for all these conditions is town life or urbanization with a considerable population, rival guilds, and a cultural atmosphere influenced by monasteries, schools, or aristocratic centers. Theatrical activity requires not only an economical and cultural basis, but also stable political conditions as well.

Comparative Drama is carried by JSTOR and Project MUSE.