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Revisiting Christopher Fry: Sacred temporality on a modern stage

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Date Issued:
2004
Summary:
Christopher Fry was instrumental in the early twentieth-century resurgence of plays dealing with religious themes. This movement can at first be seen as anomalous within the era of modernism, when many writers and theorists considered religious sentiment to be a barrier to the more crucial aspects of living authentically within a modern society haunted by history. Nevertheless, Fry's particular appropriation of a sacred conceptualization of time on the modern stage reveals a degree of congruity between him and his contemporaries in their varied attempts to represent transcendent value on the stage without simultaneously removing the audience from their own historical present. In The Boy with a Cart, Fry's superimposition of the life of a tenth-century saint onto modern experience infuses the temporality of the play with transcendent value. Fry shifts his focus to the question of authentic action in A Sleep of Prisoners, and uses a series of biblical dreams to stress the need for a conceptualization of eternity in the passing moment in order for one to act authentically within history.
Title: Revisiting Christopher Fry: Sacred temporality on a modern stage.
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Name(s): Harriman, Lucas H.
Florida Atlantic University, Degree grantor
Martin, Thomas L., Thesis advisor
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Electronic Thesis Or Dissertation
Issuance: monographic
Date Issued: 2004
Publisher: Florida Atlantic University
Place of Publication: Boca Raton, Fla.
Physical Form: application/pdf
Extent: 99 p.
Language(s): English
Summary: Christopher Fry was instrumental in the early twentieth-century resurgence of plays dealing with religious themes. This movement can at first be seen as anomalous within the era of modernism, when many writers and theorists considered religious sentiment to be a barrier to the more crucial aspects of living authentically within a modern society haunted by history. Nevertheless, Fry's particular appropriation of a sacred conceptualization of time on the modern stage reveals a degree of congruity between him and his contemporaries in their varied attempts to represent transcendent value on the stage without simultaneously removing the audience from their own historical present. In The Boy with a Cart, Fry's superimposition of the life of a tenth-century saint onto modern experience infuses the temporality of the play with transcendent value. Fry shifts his focus to the question of authentic action in A Sleep of Prisoners, and uses a series of biblical dreams to stress the need for a conceptualization of eternity in the passing moment in order for one to act authentically within history.
Identifier: 9780496257331 (isbn), 13153 (digitool), FADT13153 (IID), fau:10014 (fedora)
Collection: FAU Electronic Theses and Dissertations Collection
Note(s): Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters
Thesis (M.A.)--Florida Atlantic University, 2004.
Subject(s): Fry, Christopher,--1907---Criticism and interpretation
Religious drama--Criticism and interpretation
Time in literature
Theater--Philosophy
Verse drama, English--Criticism and interpretation
Held by: Florida Atlantic University Libraries
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/fcla/dt/13153
Sublocation: Digital Library
Use and Reproduction: Copyright © is held by the author, with permission granted to Florida Atlantic University to digitize, archive and distribute this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
Use and Reproduction: http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC/1.0/
Owner Institution: FAU
Is Part of Series: Florida Atlantic University Digital Library Collections.