The Theater and Its Double - II. Metaphysics and the Mise en Scène Summary & Analysis

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II. Metaphysics and the Mise en Scène Summary and Analysis

The author describes a painting by medieval painter Lucas van den Leyden called "Daughters of Lot." He describes the main characteristics and elements of the painting: a heavy dark sky, a black tower, lighting bolts that resemble rockets, broken ships wrecked on a beach, etc. Artaud says that there is no clear message or idea to be derived from the painting, yet it affects the spectator's mind directly. At the social level, the painting conveys ideas about sexuality and reproduction. At a deeper, metaphysical level, it conveys ideas of magic, fatality, chaos and the impotency of language. Artaud states that this painting does what theater should do, if only it could speak a language of its own instead of relying strictly on spoken dialogue. Much like painting...

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