From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
- "But certainly for the present age, which prefers the sign to the thing signified, the copy to the original, representation to reality, the appearance to the essence... illusion only is sacred, truth profane. Nay, sacredness is held to be enhanced in proportion as truth decreases and illusion increases, so that the highest degree of illusion comes to be the highest degree of sacredness. "Feuerbach, Preface to the second edition of The Essence of Christianity
In general spectacle refers to an event that is memorable for the appearance it creates. While some literary critics and philosophers in the 20th century have offered a theory of "the spectacle" as a mode by which capitalism subordinates everyday experience (see Situationist spectacle), the term "spectacle" has also been a term of art in theater dating from the 17th century in English drama.
From Middle English, from Old French spectacle, from Latin spectaculum (“a show, spectacle”), from spectare (“to see, behold”), frequentative of specere (“to see”); see species.
The term originated from the Roman practice of staging circuses, in the tradition of the Roman elite of providing "bread and circuses" to maintain civil order by distracting the populace from underlying social and economic problems.
The Restoration spectacle
The Hollywood spectacular
Situationist notion of Spectacle and spectacular society.