Object structure

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Orality in Writting: the Case of Jeu D'Adam (XII Sec.)

Subject and Keywords:

medieval theatre   director’s notes   punctuation   mise en page   Jeu d’Adam


The Jeu d’Adam is the oldest theatrical text written in a vernacularlanguage that has come down to us in its entirety. Composed aroundthe mid-twelfth century, it has survived in only a single witness (Tours,Bibliothèque municipale, ms. n° 927, cc. 20r–40r) datable to the secondquarter of the thirteenth century. The peculiarity that better characterizesthe Jeu d’Adam is undoubtedly its large apparatus of Latin stagedirections, aimed to regulate its staging scrupulously.The zeal lavished in the attempt to regulate diction by a pervasiveand careful use of punctuation marks is very important. Consideringthe dating of the code, it appears sufficiently diversified, contemplatingthe punctus planus, placed both at the foot of the letter andin the middle position, the virgula (´), the punctus elevatus (.´)and the punctus interrogativus (two points with one or two virgulaeon their top).The iterated use of the punctus interrogativus to indicate an interrogativeor exclamatory intonation – extremely rare in the other manuscriptsof the same time – is motivated both by the will to suggestin turn the appropriate intonation for the sentences in the form ofdirect speech, and by the ‘paraliturgical character of the Jeu, shaped by the concrete needs of the staging without however never abdicatingits edifying purposes.





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Detailed Type:

czasopisma (wydawnictwa ciągłe)


ISSN 2449–8181



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Copyright by Instytut Studiów Klasycznych, Sródziemnomorskich i Orientalnych, Pracowania Badan nad Tradycja Oralna, 2016