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Title: Envisioning the modern stage : a performance-based study of Victor Hugo, Alfred de Musset and Maurice Maeterlinck
Author: McRobert, Sandra Elizabeth Margaret
ISNI:       0000 0004 5371 6483
Awarding Body: Queen's University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2014
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The central argument of this thesis is that Hugo, Musset and Maeterlinck each had a conception of theatre and performance that can now be considered 'modem'. The thesis is original because it reads these nineteenth-century playwrights' visions through performance. It contributes to knowledge of the subject by revealing the significance of the active audience for all three, applying the hitherto-neglected methodological approach of theatre semiotics combined with phenomenology. Each dramatist's ideal audience is found to have an embodied, sensory response and to often experience discomfort' This thesis further contributes to existing knowledge by tracing comparisons between these three very different playwrights, and by referring to productions of their plays in order to cast light on issues such as dialogue, corporeality and decor. An Introduction contextualises the main lines of inquiry of the thesis and sets out the methodology, and is followed by three chapters. Chapter one considers Hugo's modem vision of the stage, and is based on his Romantic plays (1829-1834). Chapter two is concerned with Musset and the modernity of his Spectacle dans unfauteuil (Prose) (1834). Chapter three concentrates on the avant-gardevision of Maeterlinck, a Belgian Symbolist, and examines his 1889-1894 plays from a performance perspective. Within each chapter, the emphasis is on elements of the playwright's dramaturgy that pertain to the form of the dramatic text and that implicate the audience. Relevant stagings and other archival material relating to performance are used, alongside semiotic and phenomenological analysis, in order to increase understanding of Hugo, Musset and Maeterlinck's dramatic skills and the modernity of their visions. The Conclusion highlights key areas that have been explored, draws comparisons with postnineteenth- century theatre theorists and practitioners, such as Brecht, Strindberg, Beckett and lonesco, and reveals links between the three playwrights discussed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available