Midsummer Night's Small Talk

D (as we walk to the theatre one exhausted evening):     
Did it ever occur to you that all this theatre could be bad for you?

Sycorax Pine:  
What are you, an early church father?


D and SP (as one):

From now on I am going to call you Tertullian.* 


         I think we need to get a pet tortoise, so that we can name him Tertullian.  Or Lightning, for short.

* The second century theologian Tertullian makes frequent but brief appearances in theatre history lectures on antitheatricalism.  Here's Jonas Barish on D's new namesake: "All pleasure, suggests Tertullian (perhaps in echo of Plato), is disquieting, even when experienced in moderation and calm, but the theatre, with its excitements and its maddened crowds, deliberately aims to provoke frenzy.  It is the frenzy itself, in fact, that draws spectators, for how else [to] explain the audience's mindless absorption in the imaginary fortunes of nonexistent characters? [...] To portray a murder is as wicked as to commit one, even if in the first case the murdered man gets up, walks off, and drinks a pint of ale with his assassin.  And as wicked as either the real murderer or his scenical counterfeit is the spuriously innocent spectator, whose soul is delightedly following the motions of the enacted crime."

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