eglantine_br (eglantine_br) wrote,

Once you have the research you have to use it?

I have a book I have been poking along at for some time. It is a rather dry treatment of stage lighting during the time of Marlowe. The short story is they put on plays in the afternoon, for two reasons. They had to rely somewhat on natural light, and they had to avoid conflict with state required prayer times.

The book goes into a lot more detail. And it is interesting, but not something that I can gobble down at once.

But it does include, if anyone else wants it, a chart detailing when the sun set in London, in each week of each month of 1574. It comes out to 4-ish in the winter and 8-ish in the summer, which seems similar to someplace like Boston, to me.

The author of the book uses Shakespeare as an example more than Marlowe, but they are exact contemps up to the time Marlowe died. The author says that when we hear 'Out, out, brief candle' or something like it,  coming from a stage today, lit up brightly, and indoors at night, it is very different from what the people experienced when the play was new. If the stage was dark, and the actors seen dimly, and the light all around was flickering and dancing, that would have felt very different. Or if the play was performed in mid-afternoon in a theater open to the sky, different again. The words are colored in meaning by the way they are staged.

It reminds me of that thing about how even if you could talk to a lion, you could not really talk to a lion. We can try to get close, put we cannot know what the past was really like.

I guess this is an example of how a person can get a little goofy over research. Even if it leads nowhere, I want to get as close as I can to imagining what it was really like.

That is what is so great about LJ. So many of you know so much more than me-- and you share. That is delightful.
Tags: kit marlowe, writing about writing instead of writing
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