By Mark Thornton Burnett, Adrian Streete
Over the past century, many sixteenth- and 17th-century occasions and personalities were introduced prior to domestic, cinema, exhibition, competition and theatrical audiences. This assortment examines those representations, contemporary tv sequence, documentaries, pageantry, theatre and pop culture in various cultural and linguistic guises.
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Extra info for Filming and Performing Renaissance History
Her own Ramona Wray 25 high spirits . . [and an inability to] give . . ’22 Via this canvassing of options, women’s roles are rendered solidly and the audience participates at a level of pronounced critical attentiveness. Perhaps more arresting than the multifaceted representation of character are the consistencies inherent in the portrayals of females. Aristocratic women, for example, are invariably discovered as opposing the tyrannical Henry in minor or discrete ways: in Jane Seymour’s (Annabelle Wallace) smile at Robert Aske (Gerard McSorley), the leader of the Pilgrimage of Grace, or in Brandon’s wife begging him to ‘show mercy’ to the rebels and their families, a purchase on limited resistance is encoded.
The gap between contemporary and early modern forms of bodily understanding is graphically illustrated in a sickbed episode so severe that Brandon (Henry Cavill) calls upon the barber-surgeons to operate on Henry’s leg, taking upon himself personal responsibility for what is imagined as a precarious outcome (‘I will answer for it,’ he states). In the extended elaboration of the act of lancing, a powerful impression of early modern horror is provided. 18 Crucially, the scenes leading up to Henry’s surgery are intercut with shots of the civil unrest sweeping England, unrest that culminates in the representation of the Pilgrimage of Grace.
Here, commentators misread The Tudors’ effort to analogize: although standards of beauty were different in Renaissance England to those of today, they were, of course, equally artificial. 15 Thus, The Tudors sets out to understand a life cycle – and to do so it must highlight an alternative beginning. Unlike most appropriations of history, which, as Julie Sanders has demonstrated, rely ‘upon the reader’s awareness . . 16 A central summarizing voiceover – ‘You think you know the story but you only know how it ends: to get to the heart of the story you have to go back to the beginning’ – establishes the principles.
Filming and Performing Renaissance History by Mark Thornton Burnett, Adrian Streete