By K. Reilly
The automaton, recognized at the present time because the robotic, will be visible as a metaphor for the ancient interval during which it truly is explored. Chapters contain examinations of Iconoclasm's worry that artwork could surpass nature, the Cartesian mind/body divide, automata as gadgets of courtly wish, the uncanny Olympia, and the progressive Robots in post-WWI drama.
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Extra info for Automata and Mimesis on the Stage of Theatre History
The inanimate beetle had come to life and flown before the audience’s very eyes. ’45 But Dee’s mechanical abilities actually derived from his intensive study and practical application of Euclidean geometry on to his theatrical machine. 46 Part of the audience’s terror probably came from the suspicion that the spectacular magic of the flying beetle was a form of popery. ’47 Just three years later in 1550, Dee gave successful lectures on Euclidean geometry in Paris in which he showed elaborate diagrams, no longer extant, of this same flying beetle automaton from his production of Peace.
37 This Ka was controlled by powerful priests who were the sole keepers of the source of the statues’ mystery. ’38 This facilitated the gods’ entrance into statues fitted with nodding heads and long tubes (with whispering priests on the other Iconoclasm and Automata 25 end serving as the mouthpieces of the gods). These statues could divine the future, pronounce oracles, inflict disease, or bring reward. Certain Egyptian statues were notorious for their extraordinary political power: the statue of the god Amon moved his mammoth stone arm to indicate the appointment of a new Pharaoh.
Henry hired French gardeners for his Privy Garden at Hampton Court and his Nonsuch Palace garden, both of which were filled with heraldic emblems and royal beasts. An interesting part of the legacy of these princely pleasure gardens is that they later provide a similar destination to that of monastic pilgrimages prior to the Henrician Reformation, a subject that will be returned to later. Henry VIII’s ornamental gardens were built to compete with the princely splendour of François I’s Fontainebleau.
Automata and Mimesis on the Stage of Theatre History by K. Reilly