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Ritual primitive form of theatre?

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  • Essay length: 1557 words
  • Submitted: 19/06/2006
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University Degree Anthropology

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Pekka Mehtala

Ritual primitive form of theatre?

This issue interested me because of its historical aspect and I felt like I could use my knowledge in pre historic material in favour of writing this essay. I started by looking for exact definition for ritual, I found out that although I could find books that try to define theatre and ritual, most of them end up in dead end. If there was a definition it didn't cover the broad range of rituals.

Oscar G. Brockett in his book "The History of the Theatre" has few examples of what rituals may have been used for. Ritual may have been a form of knowledge. It might be the way to pass knowledge and preserve it before written language was invented. Rituals may be intended to influence certain events like the rainfall or the change of the seasons. They are often performed to glorify a supernatural power, victory in hunting or in a war. And finally rituals may entertain or give pleasure. As those examples show rituals are used widely and in very varied occasions and purposes and that makes the difference between ritual and theatre very

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