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Roman Pantomime - Research Paper

Roman Pantomime


In assessment of the origins and nature of pantomime in ancient Rome, one will clearly see that the latter two factors are wide and varied. This is due to the collaborative nature of the art as a whole. With a close examination of archaeological, textual and representational evidence one will gain a precise understanding of how the origins, nature and type of audience of the pantomime are interrelated. One will additionally gain inisight into the widespread popularity of pantomime despite a general dislike towards drama in ancient Rome.
Before one can begin to consider the origins of , one must have a clear understanding of the nature of pantomime. This is due to the fact that the nature ...

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is usually likened to a ballet enactment with a mythical theme. The pantomime usually tended to appeal to higher tastes with its mythical themes but as Grimal implies, could also be comic and erotic.
In his discussion of pantomime, Lucian of Samosata (ca. 125 – 180) notes that the pantomime represents the orator and the composer of declamations. Lucian claims that the success of the pantomime depends upon his skillful adadptation of language to character. It is considered that the pantomime had incredible versitality to show forth human character and passion in all their varieties. These qualities of the pantomime were praised by Lesbonax of Mytilene who called pantomimes ‘manual philosophers.’ Futher
evidence of the versatility of the pantomime in showing emotion and character can be seen in the words of Timocrates:
I know not what truth there may be in Plato’s analysis of the soul into the
three elements of spirit, appetite and reason: but each of the three is ...

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mantle represent a swan’s tail, the tresses of Venus, a Fury’s scourge…”
Pantomime was a very unique type of performance in that it served a double purpose. Unlike some types of drama that served to be a pleasurable experience or a utilitarian one, the art of pantomime held out objects of both pleasure and utility. This is evidenced through Lucian’s comments on the art:
It sharpens the wits, it excercises the body, it delights the spectator, it instructs him in the history of bygone days, while the eye and ear are held beaneath the spell of flute and cymbal and of graceful dance…Nowhere can you procure that enjoyment in greater variety and perfection.
That said, it is ...

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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 2/9/2007 08:57:36 AM
Category: American History
Type: Free Paper
Words: 1924
Pages: 7

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