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Does anyone understand this character's function in the play??

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remnovarocks | Student | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 15, 2012 at 2:16 AM via web

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Does anyone understand this character's function in the play??

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wordprof | College Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted March 15, 2012 at 3:37 AM (Answer #1)

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The chorus, at the beginning of Act III, is inviting the audience to travel, through its imagination, to the battlefield of France, starting with the king’s debarkation at Hampton pier, then sailing across the English channel to Harfleur (French seaport on the river Seine), etc.  “Eche out our performance with your mind.” That is, “stretch out our stage business with your imagination.”  This was often the task of a chorus (a non-psychological character who acts as a narrator or describer of the scene), not only in Shakespeare’s plays, but in many Elizabethan and Jacobean plays, a stage “device” to augment the skimpy stage scenery itself.  As a reader of the plays, you do the same thing the first audiences did – you imagine the whole scene as you stage the play in your mind. Later in theatre history, with the Italian invention of the wing-and drop sets, a much more elaborate scene could appear on the stage itself, and the imagination was not called upon so much.

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