Reference > Cambridge History > The Drama to 1642, Part One > Secular Influences on the Early English Drama > Cantilenae
  Influence of Folk-lore Folk-dance and play  

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The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
Volume V. The Drama to 1642, Part One.

II. Secular Influences on the Early English Drama.

§ 6. Cantilenae.


On the literary side, the connection is very slight. The folk had their cantilenae, or songs celebrating mythological or historical heroes; 11  but epic poetry owes more to these than does the drama. The people had, also, their festival songs, sung in procession or during the dance round the sacred fire or tree, of which Sumer is i-cumen in is a sophisticated remnant; 12  and in these songs the growth of the amoebaean form shown in the existence of the burden 13  implies the same seed of drama which grew in Greece to the pre-Aeschylean tragedy, with its protagonist and chorus, but had no corresponding development in England.   11

Note 11. Ten Brink, History of English Literature, vol. I, p. 148; Chambers, vol. I, p. 26. [ back ]
Note 12Ante, Vol. I, p. 403. [ back ]
Note 13. Chambers and Sidgwick, Early English Lyrics. [ back ]

CONTENTS · VOLUME CONTENTS · INDEX OF ALL CHAPTERS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
  Influence of Folk-lore Folk-dance and play  
 
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