A detail from a fresco (wall painting) depicting a Danse Macabre, found inside a church in France (Kernascleden, Brittany). The Danse Macabre [Dance of Death] is a late medieval allegorical genre that emphasises the equalising power of death. It could be manifested through visual art, drama, literature or music, and typically represented a procession or dance of both living and dead figures from all stations in life.
- Article by:
- Tom White
- Form and genre, Language and voice
Literacy rates in the Middle Ages were low, but those who were unable to read could experience literature through ways other than private, silent reading. Tom White explains how 'illiterate' individuals encountered literary texts and traditions through textiles, wall paintings, sculptures and listening to works read aloud.