Both Pyramus and Thisbe
expressed the pain of separation and completed suicide to escape this pain (and in anticipation of reunion).
The Mechanicals' performance of Pyramus and Thisbe
, whilst seeming to critique excessive adherence to theatrical mimesis, instead strengthens the actor's dependence on his text by showing the disastrous consequences of improvisation.
This one, he says, is a clear attempt to link the history of Spain with Charlemagne, but also evokes other famous lovers such as Tristan and Isolde, Pyramus and Thisbe
. His introduction considers the place of the Spanish version in the 12 or so extant European versions, origins of the legend, the Spanish Medieval witnesses, the Manuscript Biblioteca Nacional de Madrid 7583, Muslim and Christian Spain in the eighth century, and editorial criteria.
In both Pyramus and Thisbe
plays the sinnekens provide essential background information: they introduce the characters and the plot (eg, Antwerp Pyramus ende Thisbe 101-64), indicate the passing of time and the change of place (as when they announce daybreak and Thisbe's arrival at Ninus's grave in Haarlem Piramus en Thisbe 330-43), and narrate and elucidate on- and offstage action (for instance, they describe the arrival of the lion and how he gnaws and bloodies Thisbe's head-gear in Antwerp Pyramus ende Thisbe 1234-54).
He was national president of the Association of Building Engineers and the founding chairman of the Party Wall Pyramus and Thisbe
Their "Pyramus and Thisbe
" was an operetta composed by Starveling.
Many of Dante's Ovidian-inspired myths, including that of Pyramus and Thisbe
, are best interpreted in light of those traditions.
Three subsequent essays offer rich considerations of the rhetoricians' formal literary techniques and influences, from consideration of the role of allegory in the morality plays (spele van sinnen) and the impact of classical exempla to the various interpretations of Ovid's famed story of Pyramus and Thisbe
. Bart Ramakers's study of the function of allegory in rhetorician drama confronts both its strategic value in performance and its semiotic value in argument while Elsa Streitman explores why classical gods and goddesses were so popular as didactic figures, and traces how classical love stories resurfaced in the rhetoricians' hands as moral exempla.
However, at the centre of the collection, Peter Happe, a British Ben Jonson specialist, opens up a wider view in 'Pyramus and Thisbe
: Rhetoricians and Shakespeare', a contribution which deserves the attention of a broader readership.
By the time Peter Quince and his band of actors performed their 'play' at the lovers' wedding feast I doubt there was a single person in the audience who wasn't in ts of laughter; the Pyramus and Thisbe
scene is hilarious.
How else could one explain the true essence of the sublime coming from such works as Landscape with a Man Killed by a Snake (National Gallery, London), Pyramus and Thisbe
(Stadelsches Kunstinstitut und Staidtische Galerie, Frankfurt) and the Landscape with Three Monks, known as 'La Solitude' (Palace of the President of the Republic of Serbia, Belgrade)?
15 Which Shakespeare play features a performance of the tragedy Pyramus and Thisbe