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A History of Pantomime by R. J. Broadbent

A HISTORY OF PANTOMIME

by

R. J. BROADBENT

Author of "STAGE WHISPERS," etc.

LONDON:

TO

WILLIAM WADE, ESQUIRE.

This book is dedicated as a small token of the Author's esteem and regard.

R.J.B.

PREFACE.

One of the most important factors in the making of Theatrical History has been that of Pantomime, yet in many of the published works dealing with the History of the Stage it has, with the exception of a passing reference here and there, been much neglected.

It is with a view of conveying to the reading public some little, and, perhaps, new information about this ancient form of entertainment that I am tempted to issue this History of Pantomime in the hope and belief that it may not only prove interesting, but also instructive, to all lovers of the Stage.

R.J.B.

Liverpool, December, 1901.

CONTENTS.

CHAPTER I.

Origin of Pantomime

CHAPTER II.

Origin of Tragedy and Comedy--Mythology--The meaning of the word Pantomime--The origin of Harlequin, Columbine, Clown, and Pantaloon--Grecian Mythology--Transformation Scenes--The rise of Grecian Tragedy and Comedy--The Satirical Drama

CHAPTER III.

The origin of the Indian Drama--Aryan Mythology--Clown and Columbine--Origin of the Chinese Drama--Inception of the Japanese Drama--The Siamese Drama--Dramatic performances of the South Sea Islanders, Peruvians, Aztecs, Zulus, and Fijis--The Egyptian Drama

CHAPTER IV.

"Dancing," _i.e._ Pantomime--Grecian Dancing and Pantomimic Scenes--Aristotle--Homer--Dances common to both Greeks and Romans

CHAPTER V.

Thespis--The Progress of Tragedy and Comedy--Aeschylus--The Epopee--Homer--Sophocles--Euripides--Grecian Mimes--The First Athenian Theatre--Scenery and Effects

CHAPTER VI.

Roman Theatres--Description--"Deadheads"--Pantomime in Italy--Livius Andronicus--_Fabulae Atellanae_--Extemporal Comedy--Origin of the Masque, Opera, and Vaudeville--Origin of the term Histrionic--Etruscans--Popularity of Pantomime in Italy--Pantomimists banished by Trajan--Nero as a Mime--Pylades and Bathyllus--Subjects chosen for the Roman Pantomimes--The Ballet--The _Mimi_ and _Pantomimi_--_Archimimus_--Vespasian--Harlequin--"Mr. Punch"--Zany, how the word originated--Ancient Masks--Lucian, Cassiodorus, and Demetrius in praise of Pantomime--A celebrated _Mima_--Pantomimes denounced by early writers--The purity of the English stage contrasted with that of the Grecian and Roman--Female parts on the Grecian and Roman stages--The principal Roman _Mimas_--The origin of the Clown of the early English Drama


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