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"Felizmente há Luar" – Theatre of Resistence

Lusophone Identities II
by

Paulo Pepe

on 5 March 2013

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Transcript of "Felizmente há Luar" – Theatre of Resistence

"Felizmente Há Luar! "
Theatre of Resistence Gil Vicente 1502 1587 1822 1902 1940 1961 2000 Gil Vicente's Work His magnum opus is considered to be the "Triologia das Barcas" ("Trilogy of the Ships"), which consists of the three plays:
"Auto da Barca do Inferno" ("Act of the Ship of Hell"), written 1516;
"Auto da Barca do Purgatório" ("Act of the Ship of Purgatory"), written in 1518;
"Auto da Barca da Glória" ("Act of the Ship of Heaven"), written in 1519. His plays may be divided into: Pastoral Acts;
Religious Allegories;
Biblical Narratives;
"Episodical" Farces;
Narrative Acts. António Ferreira Almeida Garrett Almeida Garrett was born in 1799 and died in 1854;
A Portuguese poet, playwright, novelist and politician, Garrett is considered to be the establisher of Romanticism in Portugal;
Garrett's first play, entitled "Catão," was staged in 1822 in Coimbra;
His major work as a playwright is considered to be "Frei Luís da Sousa."
He was also responsible for the creation of the "Conservatório Geral de Arte Dramática" and the "Teatro Nacional D. Maria II." Júlio Dantas (1867-1962) Dantas was a physician in the Portuguese Army, president of the "Academia de Ciências de Lisboa", Minister of Education, Minister of Foreign Affairs (1922–1923) and ambassador to Brazil (1941–1949);
He became renowned for his historical works (both theatre plays and novels);
His most popular play is the "A Ceia dos Cardeais" ("The Cardinals' Supper"). José Régio Régio (1901-1969) founded in 1927 the journal "Presença", which would become central to de development of the second modernist movement in Portugal, of which he was the main ideologue.
He was defiant of the "Estado Novo" ("New State") regime and was a member of the "Movimento de Unidade Democrática" ("Movement of Democratic Unity"), supporting Humberto Delgado's bid for the Portuguese presidency.
As a writer, José Régio was the author of novels, plays, poetry and essays.
His works are strongly influenced by the theme of conflict between Man and God and between Individual and Society, in a critical analysis of solitude and human relations.
His first play is entitled "Jacob e o Anjo" ("Jacob and the Angel"). Sttau Monteiro (1926-1993) was born in Lisbon and moved to London when he was 10 years old;
He returned to Portugal in 1943, when his father was fired by Salazar;
He graduated in Law;
Sttau Monteiro started his writing career in 1960 with the publication of the novel "Um Homem não Chora" ("A men doesn't Cry");
In 1961, he published "Felizmente Há Luar!", a play that won the Portuguese Writers’ Society Great Prize of Theater in 1962. 1978 1914 - 1918 World War I 1939-1945 World War II Salazar's Regime 1926-1974 1974 Carnation Revolution "Castro" is Ferreira's (1528 - 1596) most well-known work, and the first tragedy in Portuguese, and the second, in modern European literature.
Though fashioned on the great models of the ancients, it has little plot or action, and the characters, except that of the prince, are ill-designed. It is a splendid poem, with a chorus which sings the sad fate of Inês in musical odes, rich in feeling and grandeur of expression. From Salazar's Regime to the Carnation Revolution XIX Century
1817 - Social unrest that led to the Liberal Revolt of 1820;
- internal conspiracies;
- Revolt against the presence of the court in Brazil and influence of the British Army;
- Absolutist and tyrannical regime;
- Strongly hierarchical social classes;
- People felt oppressed and resigned;
- The "misery, fear and ignorance";
- Struggle against the oppression of the absolutist regime;
- Manuel, "the most conscientious popular", denounces oppression and misery;
- persecution of Bereford's agents;
- Press censorship;
- Severe repression of the conspirators;
- Summary trials and the death penalty;
- Condemnation of General Gomes Freire. Twentieth Century
1961 - Social unrest of the 1960s;
- internal conspiracies and major outbreak of the colonial wars;
- Dictatorial regime of Salazar;
- Greater inequality between wealthy and poor;
- Exploited classes, to strengthen its power;
- Repressed and exploited people;
- Misery, fear and illiteracy;
- Obscurantism, but belief in the changes;
- Fight against totalitarian and dictatorial regime absolutist;
- Social and political unrest popular with the military "denounces the
oppression and misery";
- PIDE's persecution;
- Allegations of so-called "snitches" that arise in the shade and disguise, to gather information and report;
- Censorship;
- Imprisonment and harsh measures of repression and torture;
- Conviction in cases without evidence. Felizmente Há Luar! "Felizmente Há Luar!" did not obtain the censorship approval and was not staged or published in Portugal until the end of the regime;
The play's first performance took place in Paris in 1969;
"Felizmente há Luar!" would be represented in Portugal, only in 1978 at "Teatro Nacional";
The play was a commercial success when performed in 1978, and it also sold approximately 160 000 copies when was first published; Why was "Felizmente Há Luar!" censored? The military dictatorship from 1926 to 1933 in Portugal eventually became a period of intense struggle for political power. Similarly, it was also a period marked by the rise of Salazar and his inner circle, who built the New State;
This repressive state system was improved by the creation of a new political police, the PIDE ("International Police and State Defense"), and the improvement of censure, which would allow the regime to won the elections;
Although Portugal had a high level of illiteracy and Salazar himself was a professor, his regime didn't consider education a high priority and for many years didn't spend much on it, beyond granting basic education to all citizens;
Also, Salazar's goal was to establish a Catholic Social Order even in a nominally secular state;
The principal slogan of the regime was: God, Homeland and Family. The Censorship Catholic Church The PIDE
(International State Defence Police) The PIDE was created in 1945, and it had two main functions: 1- Administrative functions (which included those related to the migration services; 2) Criminal prevention and repression functions
The PIDE encouraged citizens - the so-called "bufos" ("snitches") - to denounce suspicious activities, through the use of monetary and prestige incentives. This resulted in an extremely effective espionage service which was able to fully control almost every aspect of Portuguese daily life. Thousands of Portuguese were arrested and tortured in PIDE's prisons. From the 1940s to the 1970s, the "New State" was trying to "build" men and their ideologies;
During this four decades, having an opinion against the regime was considered to be a public crime;
Salazar's regime used censorship as an instrument to silence and manipulate his opponents and limit the information that reached the public. Salazar's dictatorship was strongly supported by the Catholic Church;
In 1940, it was signed the "Concordata entre a Santa Sé e Portugal" ("Concordat between the Holy See and Portugal", an arrangement that gave extensive privileges to the Church;
A major figure and representative of the close relations between Church and State was Manuel Gonçalves Cerejeira, who had a close friendship with Salazar. Salazar 's Dictatorship What techniques were used by intellectuals and artists to indirectly address Salazar's regime and get the censorship' s approval? "Felizmente Há Luar!" recreates in two acts an unsuccessful attempt at revolt that took place in October 1817, suppressed by the power of the absolutist regime of Beresford and Miguel Forjaz, with the support of the church;
The main figure is the General Gomes Freire de Andrade and his execution, showing the resignation of a people dominated by misery, by fear and ignorance;
The play is narrative drama that examines critically the society, presenting a reality with the aim of bringing the viewer to take a position;
It also portrays the tragic apotheosis of the liberal movement in nineteenth-century Portugal and interprets the conditions of Portuguese society from the beginning of the nineteenth century;
Act I introduces how Machiavellian power works, not looking for ways to achieve its goals;
Act II leads the viewer/reader to anti-power responses and resistance;
The play does not present any division into scenes, and these are only suggested by the input and output of characters and light. The Characters Gomes Freire de Andrade is the protagonist, and although he never appears on stage he is evoked through the hope of the people, the persecution of the governors and the revolt of his wife and friends; he is accused of being the Grand Master of Freemasonry, immigrant, and a brilliant soldier;
D. Miguel Forjaz is Gomes Freire's cousin; vindictive, cold and calculating, Forjaz is frightened by the changes that he does not want and is corrupted by the power;
Principal Sousa is corrupted by the ecclesiastical power and he hates the French;
Vicente is sarcastic, demagogue, false humanist, driven by the interest of material reward, and a hypocrite that despises his origins and his past;
Manuel denounces the oppression that the people are subjected to;
Matilde de Melo is brave and sincere, expresses her love, reacts violently against hatred and injustice, sometimes discouraged, sometimes rages, sometimes revolts, but she always struggles;
Sousa Falcão is Matilde's inseparable friend, suffers along her, assuming Gomes Freire's ideals, but lacked the General's courage. Characters
Narrative - History 1-Gomes Freire and the other eleven convicts;
2- Principal Sousa;
3- Beresford;
4- D. Miguel Pereira Forjaz;
5 - Vicente / Andrade Corvo / Morais Sarmento;
6 - The two cops;
7 - Matilde;
8 - Manuel/ Rita/ Antigo Soldado/ Other civilians;
9 - Sousa Falcão. 1- General Humberto Delgado and the other political prisoners;
2- Cardeal Cerejeira and the position of the church in Portugal;
3- Influence / foreign aid to the regime, particularly English, who had economic interests;
4 - The bourgeoisie that wants to keep to dominate economic power and social;
5 - The informers or "snitches" which generally improve their condition through by denouncing other civilians;
6 - The police and the PIDE;
7 - Mothers, wives, sisters of political prisoners that slowly would become aware of the political situation;
8 - People who believed in General Humberto, but did not get involved;
9 - Friends of political prisoners, who although aware of the situation, did not dare to intervene. Symbols The light, symbolically, is associated with life, health, happiness, while the night and darkness are associated with evil, unhappiness, the punishment, the destruction and death.
Matilde, by stating that this bonfire of S. Julião da Barra had yet to “incendiar esta terra!” ("burn this land"), shows that the flame is kept alive and that freedom is near.
The title "Felizmente Há Luar!" appears two times during the play, inserted in the speeches of the characters: in D. Miguel's, to emphasize the dissuasive effect of executions wanting the punishment of Gomes Freire, who would become an example (page 85); and Matilde's, who at the time of the execution utters words of courage and encouragement to the people to revolt against tyranny (page 92);
The green skirt represents happiness, as it was a gift from General Gomes Freire de Andrade, and hope.
-The drums represent the repression.
The coin of 5 kings symbolizes sovereignty and the corruption and dishonesty of the powerful. The Who: Bertolt Brecht born in Augsburg, Germany on February 10, 1898; had his first plays published in 1922 at the age of 24; held Marxist views, exiled to the USA during the Nazi regime (1937-1945); Returned to East Berlin in 1949; founded the Berliner Ensemble with his wife, Helene Weigel; died of a heart attack at home in 1958. The What:
Brechtian Theatre Brecht’s theatre can be best describe as "a dramatic vessel or rational educationalism, influenced by Marxist beliefs";
One of his most famous plays that symbolized his beliefs and purpose in theatre is "Mother Courage";
He strayed away from the commonly used "Dramatic Theatre" in which certain aspects are included in order to create a feeling and empathetic response so audiences can suspend critical judgement and let themselves be carried along by the performance;
He invented a new style of theatre in which he included all concepts he believed were important to have in a performance to be able to actually view events in a play much more differently. Brecht's beliefs seem to change by 1926, he became a Marxist and translated the issues and ideals he belived in into his plays;
Brecht believed that problems in our world were a result of capitalism and that these could all be solved by socialism or communism;
According to Marx, humans alienate themselves from the products of their intellectual, economic, and social activity. Marx developed many theories of ‘alienation’ but the most popular was that of economic alienation. This is why Brecht focused on this in his plays;
From then on, Brecht used his plays to alter the audiences relationship to the production and expose them to the horrifying realties that are among us in hopes of us reacting to what we’ve seen and making a change. Bertolt Brecht and Marxism Mother Courage trudges through the Thirty Years War, switching alliances and carving out deals, while eventually losing all three of her children. Alienation is commonly defined as the technique Brecht used in his theatre to separate or distance the audience from the stage events so it can view them critically;
The main goal of alienation is to view the play from a different perspective, first in the eyes of a viewer, meaning the audience must consider and know that they re not part of the events that are occuring on stage and separate themselves;
Alienation basically creates the ‘invisible fourth wall’ between audience and stage. What is Alienation? Conventions The conventions of alienation are the different aspects that allow the alienation effect to take its course;
Brecht urged performers to present characters rather than than fully identify with them;
He set the action of his plays in other times and places;
Exposed the obvious theatrical means (i.e. visible lights, musicians,ropes, etc.);
Between scenes in his plays, Brecht used captions, songs, and other devices to emphasize breaks in between the action and bring the audience back to reality. Felizmente Há Luar! 1 - Brecht attached great importance to the pedagogical of their works of theater: contrary to the passivity of the spectator, his intention was to educate and stimulate critical thinking public: for that, served up distancing effects, such as masks, musical interludes or panels on which it commented on the action: - the lights are intense; - the sound effects,example: the background sounds to accentuate the action;
2 - The clothes of the characters;
3 - The props. Influences of Brecht Theatre on "Felizmente Há Luar!" Brechtian Theatre "Felizmente Há Luar!" 1 - Evokes characters and situations of the past (nineteenth-century liberal movement in Portugal); uses them as an excuse to talk about the Dictatorship in the 60s of the twentieth century; highlights the struggle of man against tyranny, oppression, betrayal, injustice and all forms of persecution.
- The intensification of the lights (page?)
- the sound of the drums and the bells (repression), page
- the bell of the priest;
2 - The costume of ragged people(misery); the black costume of Sousa Falcão (lack of faith), etc.
3 - The belongings of the people (Baskets, blankets, pumpkin, etc.); the chair of the Governor (luxurious life) ,etc. Conclusion To conclude, epic theatre and "Felizmente Há Luar!" can be seen:
- as a way of analyzing the social transformations that occur throughout the ages, (as a construction element of society).
- as a rupture with the traditional conception of theater.

Brecht and Sttau Monteiro intend to replace the "feel" by the "thinking." Stage Directions Taking into account the situation of 1960s Portugal, the stage directions are clear indications of the intent of the play (page2);
The side stage directions are longer and present more detailed descriptions; these have a more subjective nature and limit the role of the director.
In Sttau Monteiro's play, the stage directions are used to complement the lines of the characters and constitute the viewer/reader as a witness of the play's action;
Moreover the stage directions that appear in italics and in brackets give the indications about characterization of the characters, the tone with which the words are uttered; feelings that are behind and intent thereof; movement of the characters on stage, light and sound effects. Felizmente Há Luar! Oppositions to Salazar Regime
General Humberto Delgado Humberto Delgado (1906-1965) was a General of the Portuguese Air Force and politician;
Although initially a supporter of Salazar's right-wing dictatorship, after living in Washington, D.C. in 1952 and returning to Portugal, he changed is political ideology in defense of democratic ideals, eventually becoming candidate for the Portuguese presidency in 1958;
In a famous interview on 10 May 1958, in the Chave d'Ouro café, when asked what would he do to Salazar if elected President, Delgado made one of the most famous quotes in Portuguese politics: "Obviamente, demito-o!" ("Obviously, I'll fire him!"). His outspoken attitude earned him the epithet of "General sem Medo" ("Fearless General"). Carnation Revolution The "Revolução dos Cravos" ("Carnation Revolution"), also referred to as "25 de Abril" ("April 25th"), was a military coup that took place on the 25 April 1974, in Lisbon, coupled with an unanticipated and extensive campaign of civil resistance;
This day is celebrated every year as a Portuguese national holiday;
The name "Revolução dos Cravos" results from the placing of carnations into the muzzles of rifles and on the soldiers' uniforms;
The military-led coup returned democracy to Portugal, ending the unpopular Colonial War where thousands of Portuguese soldiers had been conscripted into military service, and replacing the Estado Novo regime and its secret police which repressed elemental civil liberties and political freedoms. What led Luís de Sttau Monteiro to write about the failed 1817 liberal revolt? How is Brecht's influence traceable in "Felizmente há Luar!"? Identify examples of Brecht's influence in the play. Gil Vicente was born in 1462;
He became know as "Trobador" and "Father of Portuguese Drama";
His plays and poetry, written in both Portuguese and Spanish, were a reflection of the changing times during the transition from Middle Ages to Renaissance;
His work reflects the balance between the former time of rigid mores and hierarchical social structure and the new society in which this order was undermined;
While many of Vicente's works were composed to celebrate religious and national festivals or to commemorate events in the life of the royal family, others draw upon popular culture to entertain, and often to critique, Portuguese society of his day. These plays combine morality narratives with criticism of 16th-century Portuguese society by placing stereotypical characters on a dock to await the arrival of one of the ships which will take them to their eternal destination. Luís de Sttau Monteiro Task Taking this overview of "Felizmente Há Luar!" and of Portugal from 1930's to the 1970s into account:
1) establish relationships between the play's characters and historical figures of Salazar's regime;
2) determine connections between concrete examples of the historical action of the play and the Portuguese dictatorship;
3) identify the play's symbolic elements. Task
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