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Theater als Medium höfischer Kommunikation

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Since historical research gave up the paradigm of absolutism a new understanding of dynastic rule, as a process of communication and interaction aimed at securing acceptance, has become established. This has been accompanied by a new perspective on the institutions of courtly culture, which play a key role as important media in this process. In accordance with current media-theoretical discourse, this paper describes the contribution of specific aspects of one particular medium: the theatre. The theatre is embedded in two frames, which themselves are media: the court and the courtly festival. Thanks to its rigid techniques of selection and reduction, theatre is able to construct ‘the world’ according to contemporary knowledge systems in a straightforward manner. It can also serve as a tool for both the symbolic representation and the management of current problems. Above all, it enables the self-reflexivity of courtly society, which is itself characterized to the core by forms of theatricality.


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