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The emergence of drama as a literary art – Mindy Ploeckelmann

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When presented with the problem of hoards of illiterate commoners, English clergymen in the 11th century created plays to spread word about the Bible. Eventually, the plays moved out of the church and into the streets. Mindy Ploeckelmann tracks the development of drama from mystery plays to morality plays and, eventually, to Shakespeare.

Lesson by Mindy Ploeckelmann, animation by Johnny Chew.


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  1. hello

  2. thank you soooo much

  3. The stage shown in this was a picture frame stage, which wasn't prevalent until later. In Shakespeare's England, the theatre was a stage surrounded by the pit and the seats.

  4. Cool video! Can u please do another one about ancient Greek drama? About tragedy, comedy, their origins and all that stuff?

  5. what about ancient Greek drama?

  6. JESUS HATES catholicism and it will lead to hell unless you repent of it!!

  7. how does that cart move? is it being pulled by some animal? or pushed by humans?

  8. it wasn't informative.

  9. or the Japanese for that matter, I doubt Kabuki theater had the same origins

  10. They changed the title. It used to say "literary drama", not english.

  11. I made u hv

  12. I was wondering too… wasn't in English, I assume

  13. People seem to not take notice of video titles.

  14. "And that in essence is how drama emerged as a literary art form." IN ENGLAND. THAT'S HOW IT EMERGED AS A LITERARY ART FORM IN ENGLAND. Other parts of the world, not so much.

  15. Anyone who has studied engineering knows that evil doesn't bear the name of "satan". its name is "the differential equation of euler-lagrange" !!

  16. I was about to say that! Maybe this describes how medeval europe got plays but those old pagans were putting on shows long before then. Perhaps, with the fall of rome, plays were forgotten. Perhaps later the church, holding Greek/Roman knowledge in high regard, brought plays back.

  17. did this begin out of the catholic church or after martin luther's movement?

  18. I have a question – were the female characters from the Bible played by women or men? I know that the ancient Greeks and Romans did not allow women to perform. What was the case with women in these plays? Were there nuns playing these characters?

  19. I thought this video says its all when it says "English drama"

  20. Because it is the development of English drama, not just drama – there is a good chance that the clergy themselves, belonging to the Roman Catholic Church, may have been inspired to put on plays having read the works of the Greeks, who they would have been translating!

  21. That's kinda cool

  22. Woohoo! Worldly Flesh!

  23. People don't know how to read titles of videos yet they have enough intelligence to type a comment saying TedEd is wrong.

  24. "ENGLISH"

  25. Funny doodles

  26. I think they're just talking about the resurgence of it in western society today. If you talk about Greek and Rome, they basically had a whole other timeline of drama where it rose and fell as an art form, and then this video would be either twice as long, or they would mention it once shortly at the beginning and that wouldn't do it justice.

  27. Though they had their plays through the Colosseum and the like but that is a different subject than that of the "Development of English Drama." Even the name states it. This is how the development of MODERN acting and drama. In other ways though I totally agree with this comment and others, as Greece and Rome where wonderfully dramatic.

  28. This video was about the development of English Drama, while the idea of acting and the first plays did come from Greece they are not considered English Theatre.

  29. I believe there is also a period of time, before the 11th century and around Rome's decline, the church actively vilified Roman/Greek plays and actors. Not being a history guy I don't want to be too certain of myself, but it certainly does seem from what little I have learned that the church at that time played an active role in hindering the theater and then afterward started using it for its own purposes.

  30. Let alone the fact that I'm pretty sure Greece had something to do with this, what you say about all the eastern theaters in Japan and China? I'm pretty sure they predate this.

  31. Go way back to Ancient Greece and Rome and even before that. Go over to the Egyptians, or other ancient civilizations. I thought the theory was that plays and acting things out was something early humans did to pass on stories and history.

    Don't tell me TedEducation is becoming ignorant. You guys should know better then that.

  32. So about that ancient Greece. I guess English theatres just happened to look like Greek ones out of pure coincidence. Who knew?

  33. Very informative, thank you 🙂 Pretty sure the Egyptians already used this type of method of telling the story of their gods through performance though, as well as the Greeks/Romans after them.

  34. informative

  35. what about Greek & Rome ?

  36. pokemon

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