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Latin Drama in the Nordic Countries

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Chapter Summary

This chapter describes Latin drama from the Catholic period of the Nordic countries. It first positions Latin drama in relation to vernacular drama after the Reformation. The chapter then discusses panegyric and propagandistic functions of two Latin dramas on a Swedish king. Since the pedagogic aspect of drama did not concern just schoolboys but had also been used by reformers to teach and entertain the community, it was brought outside the school walls, staged in market places and town squares and the language was changed to the vernacular. Latin drama would have remained a literary work to be read and, if staged, fully enjoyed only by a limited number of educated person. Dramas dealing with great political subjects, such as Narssius's and Micraelius's plays about Gustavus Adolphus, of course, served propagandist purposes. In many respects they have points in common with epic poems or panegyric orations.

Keywords: Gustavus Adolphus; Latin drama; Micraelius's play; Narssius's play; Nordic countries; panegyric function; propagandistic function; vernacular drama



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