Production of Meaning: Spectacle as Visual Rhetoric in the Auto Sacramental

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/242434
Title:
Production of Meaning: Spectacle as Visual Rhetoric in the Auto Sacramental
Author:
King, Errol LeRoy
Issue Date:
2012
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
Few would refute the didactic nature of stained glass windows, paintings, and sculptures used in Spanish cathedrals during the Counter-Reformation. For hundreds of years the artistic renderings of biblical narratives and of Catholic dogmata had aided both the literate and illiterate alike to internalize the teachings of the Church. In contrast, the seemingly complex web of semiotic signs that form part of the aural and visual spectacle of the auto sacramental has understandably led some to question if such productions could have truly held much meaning for commoners with little formal education. However, as a theatrical genre, the auto sacramental does not deviate much from the literal meaning and allegorical symbolism of the more static art forms that adorn cathedral walls and altarpieces. The usage of ships, highwaymen, and courtroom trials represent some of the most prominent symbols utilized by playwrights to create a Counter-Reformatory drama that facilitated the audiences' ability to decode the plays' allegorical meaning. The repeated use of these semiotic signs allowed the culturally literate public in urban centers across Spain to draw upon their intertextual knowledge of such symbols to appreciate and understand these Corpus Christi performances. Modern readers less familiar with these semiotic signs and their meaning experience an additional handicap because of their inability to see the visual spectacle designed, if not as the primary didactic tool of the genre, then at least as an effective complement to the instructive dialogue that takes place between the different characters of the auto. In spite of these additional challenges that the modern reader faces, the auto sacramental offers some insight into sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Spain that cannot be found in the more secular genres of the time. The added effort to investigate and understand the missing links of intertextual knowledge open a window that offers a panorama of a largely unexplored landscape of early-modern, Spanish society.
Type:
text; Electronic Dissertation
Keywords:
Counter-Reformation; Free Will; Pythagorean Y; Ships Highwaymen Trials; Spanish; Auto Sacramental; Autos Sacramentales
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Graduate College; Spanish
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Williamsen, Amy R.

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoenen_US
dc.titleProduction of Meaning: Spectacle as Visual Rhetoric in the Auto Sacramentalen_US
dc.creatorKing, Errol LeRoyen_US
dc.contributor.authorKing, Errol LeRoyen_US
dc.date.issued2012-
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractFew would refute the didactic nature of stained glass windows, paintings, and sculptures used in Spanish cathedrals during the Counter-Reformation. For hundreds of years the artistic renderings of biblical narratives and of Catholic dogmata had aided both the literate and illiterate alike to internalize the teachings of the Church. In contrast, the seemingly complex web of semiotic signs that form part of the aural and visual spectacle of the auto sacramental has understandably led some to question if such productions could have truly held much meaning for commoners with little formal education. However, as a theatrical genre, the auto sacramental does not deviate much from the literal meaning and allegorical symbolism of the more static art forms that adorn cathedral walls and altarpieces. The usage of ships, highwaymen, and courtroom trials represent some of the most prominent symbols utilized by playwrights to create a Counter-Reformatory drama that facilitated the audiences' ability to decode the plays' allegorical meaning. The repeated use of these semiotic signs allowed the culturally literate public in urban centers across Spain to draw upon their intertextual knowledge of such symbols to appreciate and understand these Corpus Christi performances. Modern readers less familiar with these semiotic signs and their meaning experience an additional handicap because of their inability to see the visual spectacle designed, if not as the primary didactic tool of the genre, then at least as an effective complement to the instructive dialogue that takes place between the different characters of the auto. In spite of these additional challenges that the modern reader faces, the auto sacramental offers some insight into sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Spain that cannot be found in the more secular genres of the time. The added effort to investigate and understand the missing links of intertextual knowledge open a window that offers a panorama of a largely unexplored landscape of early-modern, Spanish society.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeElectronic Dissertationen_US
dc.subjectCounter-Reformationen_US
dc.subjectFree Willen_US
dc.subjectPythagorean Yen_US
dc.subjectShips Highwaymen Trialsen_US
dc.subjectSpanishen_US
dc.subjectAuto Sacramentalen_US
dc.subjectAutos Sacramentalesen_US
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineSpanishen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorWilliamsen, Amy R.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberFiore, Robert L.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberKinkade, Richard P.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberBurningham, Bruce R.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberWilliamsen, Amy R.en_US
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