Healing, Performance and Ceremony in the Writings of Three Early Modern Physicians: Hippolytus Guarinonius and the Brothers Felix and Thomas Platter
M.A. Katritzky is Barbara Wilkes Research Fellow in Theatre Studies in the Literature Department of The Open University, UK, and author of The Art of Commedia: A study in the commedia dell'arte 1560-1620 with special reference to the visual records (2006) and Women, Medicine and Theatre 1500-1750: Literary Mountebanks and Performing Quacks (2007).
- 451 pages
- Ashgate Pub Co
- ISBN-13: 978-0754667070
In early modern Europe medicine and theatre were often regarded as part of the same popular culture. Itinerant medical 'quacks' and troupes of actors were both integral parts of everyday life, each drawing upon theatricality to attract customers and promote their services. In this study, the writings of three renowned physicians - the Swiss Platter brothers and their Austrian colleague Guarinonius - are used to explore the often neglected interfaces between healing and performance. Their descriptions of German, French and Italian travelling players are examined in detail, with particular emphasis on the reaction of these 'respectable' physicians to the depiction and use of medical issues. Translations of substantial sections of their writings, supplemented with examination of visual sources, are offered to provide a vivid sense of just how medicine and theatre interacted on a popular level. By taking such an interdisciplinary and comparative approach, the reader is able to consider documents that, despite being closely related, are often not analysed together in meaningful ways. In so doing these theatrical writings are located in their rightful place within the mainstream of medical and theatre history, broadening our knowledge of the interface between healing and performance.