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Speech and Drama
GA 282

II. The Six Revelations of Speech

6 September 1924, Dornach

My dear Friends,

You will have seen from what was given in yesterday's lecture that when we are considering how we shall form our speech for recitation, we have to make a clear distinction between lyric, epic and drama. For we were able to observe that the vowel element in speech has a special relation to lyrical poetry, and the consonantal to narrative and drama. At the same time we must, as I said, not allow ourselves to forget that every consonant has in it something of the vowel element. It is, in fact, impossible to utter a consonant by itself; there must always be a vowel sounding with it to give it tone, and each consonant has its own individual inclination in this respect. The converse is moreover also true, that in every vowel an accompanying consonantal element may be heard. This will be familiar ground to you; we have spoken of it already.

I want now to draw your attention to an important fact concerning our present-day speech. It is a fact that you will need to keep well in mind if the practical demonstration that Frau Dr. Steiner will presently give is to be really helpful to you in connection with what I shall have to say in the lectures. I mean the following.

We belong, do we not, to the civilised peoples of mankind, and are moreover living in a highly advanced epoch of civilisation. But in this highly advanced epoch of ours, speech has lost connection with its beginnings, with its true origin. The languages of Europe today—with the possible exception of Russian and a few languages less widely spoken, which have not as yet come quite so far away as the rest—the European languages generally are by this time very far removed from their origin, and they are spoken in such a way that the words and even the intonation of the sounds have become nothing more than an external sign for the experiences that originally gave rise to them. I say expressly: a mere external sign. People are not, as a matter of fact, conscious of the ‘sign’ character of their speaking, for they have no idea that speech can ever be anything else than it is in the ordinary speaking of the modern European languages. But if an understanding is to arise again for speech as an art, if the artistic is to be once again alive and active in speech, there must first be the conscious realisation that speech has come away from its true character and nature and needs to be restored to it.

And this it is that I have endeavoured to achieve in my Mystery Plays. In certain passages at any rate, the immediate human experience that is finding its expression in speech has been brought back again into the sounds. The ordinary speaking of today has no longer any connection with the experience to which the speaking refers. But in parts of my Mystery Plays, the attempt has been made to lead back into sound the rhythmic, musical, plastic qualities which are generally found today only in the thought.

There are naturally many different ways in which this can be done; it depends on the task one has in hand. But I would like you now to listen to a part of the Seventh Scene in my first Mystery Play, where the scene is laid in the realm of the spirit. For I have tried there to bring right into the sound what has to be expressed, so that the very sound, if one goes no further, can direct one to the spiritual, can reveal the spiritual. And that is how it was with the old original languages.

The first thing to be borne in mind in regard to this scene was that one had here to do with happenings that are remote from the physical world and reach out towards the realm of the spirit. Hence the keynote of the scene suggests inwardness, takes us to the purely spiritual; this meant that the language had to be vocalic in character. And then there are the clearly marked transitions between the three soul forces,

Philia, Astrid and Luna; these transitions had to be given their place in the treatment of the scene. Philia lives purely in the vocalic-spiritual element; the consonantal appears in her only so far as to remind us that we are concerned with speech and not with song. Astrid builds the bridge between Philia and Luna. In Luna we encounter weight; we feel in her the direction towards the physical plane. Luna's language therefore, while still vocalic, begins to be consonantal.

We have then in this scene a good subject for artistic treatment. A hint of the consonantal element has had to be introduced, but the whole scene lives pre-eminently in the vocalic which leads one away from the physical world and takes one into the realm of the spirit. A situation of this kind can be most valuable for one who wants to find his way to a true forming of speech.

(Frau Dr. Steiner then read from the Seventh Scene of Die Pforte der Einweihung.)

(Das Gebiet des Geistes)


Ihr, meine Schwestern, die ihr
So oft mir Helferinnen wart,
Seid mir es auch in dieser Stunde,
Dass ich den Weltenäther
In sich erbeben lasse.
Er soll harmonisch klingen
Und klingend eine Seele
Durchdringen mit Erkenntnis.
Ich kann die Zeichen schauen,
Die uns zur Arbeit lenken.
Es soll sich euer Werk
Mit meinem Werke einen.
Johannes, der Strebende,
Er soll durch unser Schaffen
Zum wahren Sein erhoben werden.
Die Brüder in dem Tempel
Sie hielten Rat,
Wie sie ihn aus den Tiefen
In lichte Höhen führen sollen.
Von uns erwarten sie,
Dass wir in seiner Seele heben
Die Kraft zum Höhenfluge.
Du, meine Philia, so sauge
Des Lichtes klares Wesen
Aus Raumesweiten,
Erfülle dich mit Klangesreiz
Aus schaffender Seelenmacht,
Dass du mir reichen kannst
Die Gaben, die du sammelst
Aus Geistesgründen.
Ich kann sie weben dann
In den erregenden Sphärenreigen.
Und du auch Astrid, meines Geistes
Geliebtes Spiegelbild,
Erzeuge Dunkelkraft
Im fliessenden Licht,
Dass es in Farben scheine.—
Und gliedre Klangeswesenheit;
Dass webender Weltenstoff
Ertönend lebe.
So kann ich Geistesfühlen
Vertrauen suchendem Menschensinn.
Und du, o starke Luna,
Die du befestigt im Innern bist,
Dem Lebensmarke gleich,
Das in des Baumes Mitte wächst,
Vereine mit der Schwestern Gaben
Das Abbild deiner Eigenheit,
Dass Wissens Sicherheit
Dem Seelensucher werde.


Ich will erfüllen mich
Mit klarstemLichtessein
Aus Weltenweiten.
Ich will eratmen mir
Belebenden Klangesstoff
Aus Aetherfernen,
Dass dir, geliebte Schwester,
Das Werk gelingen kann.


Ich will verweben
Erstrahlend Licht
Mit dämpfender Finsternis,
Ich will verdichten
Das Klangesleben.
Es soll erglitzernd klingen
Es soll erklingend glitzern,
Dass du, geliebte Schwester,
Die Seelenstrahlen lenken kannst.


Ich will erwärmen Seelenstoff
Und will erhärten Lebensäther.
Sie sollen sich verdichten,
Sie sollen sich erfühlen,
Und in sich selber seiend
Sich schaffend halten,
Dass du, geliebte Schwester,
Der suchenden Menschenseele
Des Wissens Sicherheit erzeugen kannst.


Aus Philia's Bereichen
Soll strömen Freudesinn;
Und Nixen Wechselkräfte,
Sie mögen öffnen
Der Seele Reizbarkeit,
Dass der Erweckte
Erleben kann
Der Welten Lust,
Der Welten Weh.—
Aus Astrids Weben
Soll werden Liebelust;
Der Sylphen wehend Leben,
Es soll erregen
Der Seele Opfertrieb,
Dass der Geweihte
Erquicken kann
Die Leidbeladenen,
Die Glück Erflehenden.—
Aus Lunas Kraft
Soll strömen Festigkeit.
Der Feuerwesen Macht,
Sie kann erschaffen
Der Seele Sicherheit;
Auf dass der Wissende
Sich finden kann
Im Seelenweben,
Im Weltenleben.


Ich will erbitten von Weltengeistern,
Dass ihres Wesens Licht
Entzücke Seelensinn,
Und ihrer Worte Klang
Beglücke Geistgehör;
Auf dass sich hebe Der
zu Erweckende Auf Seelenwegen
In Himmelshöhen.


Ich will die Liebesströme,
Die Welt erwarmenden,
Zu Herzen leiten
Dem Geweihten;
Auf dass er bringen
kann Des Himmels Güte
Dem Erdenwirken,
Und Weihestimmung
Den Menschenkindern.


Ich will von Urgewalten
Erflehen Mut und Kraft,
Und sie dem Suchenden
In Herzenstiefen legen;
Auf dass Vertrauen
Zum eignen Selbst
Ihn durch das Leben
Geleiten kann.
Er soll sich sicher
In sich dann selber fühlen.
Er soll von Augenblicken
Die reifen Früchte pflücken,
Und Saaten ihnen entlocken
Für Ewigkeiten.


Mit euch, ihr Schwestern,
Vereint zu edlem Werk,
Wird mir gelingen,
Was ich ersehne.
Es dringt der Ruf
Des schwer Geprüften
In unsre Lichteswelt.

Seventh Scene
(In the Spirit Realm.)


My sisters, who to me
so oft have helpers been,
now at this hour be so once again;
that I may move the cosmic ether
to tremble inwardly,
that it shall music make
and let its harmonies ring forth
to fill a human soul
with knowledge.
I can discern the signs
that point us to the task.
Your work shall now with mine
Johannes, the earnest seeker,
shall by our deed
be lifted to true being.
The Brothers in the Temple
have counsel held
how they shall bring him
out of the depths
and lead him to the heights.
And they await from us
that we call up within his soul
the power to soar aloft.

Do thou, my Philia, drink in
from widths of space
the essence clear of light.
Fill thee with music's stirring harmonies,
out of the soul's creative power born,
and so reach out to me
the gifts that thou dost gather
from spirit-depths.
These then can I enweave
into the rhythm of the dancing Spheres.

And thou too, Astrid,
of my spirit
beloved reflex,—
in flowing light
let darkness be engendered,
that colours may shine forth.
And member thou the being of sound,
that so the woven texture of the worlds
may become living tones.
Then can I grant
unto the seeking human mind
that he shall feel the spirit.

And thou, strong Luna,
sure and firm within,
as the vigour of life itself,
as the pith in the heart of the tree,—
join to thy sisters’ gifts
the stamp of thine own being,
that certainty of knowledge
may accrue to the seeking soul.


From the wide spaces of the worlds
I will enfill me
with purest being of light.
From ether distances
I will inbreathe
the life-giving power of sound;
that so thy work, dear sister,
may be fulfilled.


The radiant light
will I enweave
with darkening shade.
The flowing life of sound
will I congeal,
till its music flash and sparkle
as the play of glancing light;
that thou, beloved sister,
the rays of soul mayst guide.


Soul-substance will I warm.
Life-ether will I forge.
They shall grow fast and firm
and, inly all aware,
be poised in silent being
to work creatively;
that thou, beloved sister,
beget in the seeking soul
the certainty of knowledge.


From Philia's realm
shall pour a stream of joy;
the changing play of water-sprites
shall stir the soul
of the awakened one;
that it be quick to feel
the joy of worlds,
the woe of worlds.

From Astrid's weaving shall
the bliss of love be born.
The wafting life of sylphs
shall waken in the soul
the urge to sacrifice;
that, being dedicate,
he quicken may to life
those who are sorrow-laden
and yearning for relief.

Strong Luna's power
firm steadfastness shall give.
The might of fire-beings—
it can beget
assurance in the soul;
that, having knowledge,
he may find himself
in the weaving of human souls,
in the life of worlds.


I will entreat the Spirits of the World
that the light of their being
rejoice the seeing soul,
that the music of their Words
gladden the listening spirit;
that so the awakened one
may rise on paths of soul
to heavenly heights.


The rivers of love
that warm the world,
will I lead to the heart
of the dedicated one;
that he may bring
the bounty of heaven
to earth activity,
the mood of dedication
to the children of men.


From ancient Powers primeval
courage and strength will I crave,
and plant them deep in the heart
of the seeking soul;
that self-reliance
his guide may be through life.
From moments of time shall he pluck
the ripened fruits,
and draw from them seeds
for all eternity.


United, my sisters, with you
in the noble work,
I shall achieve
my heart's desire.
Into our world of light
resounds e'en now the call
of him who trials severe
hath undergone.1An apology is perhaps due for giving here a new rendering instead of that in the published translation. In cases where translation presents peculiar difficulties, alternative renderings may sometimes be helpful. The student will realise from what is said in the lecture that the advice given in the Translator's Note in regard to German Readings applies here a fortiori.

(Dr. Steiner): If we want to form speech in such a way that it can be plastic and at the same time also musical, then the first thing necessary is to know how to bring gesture into speech. In the actual voice itself slight indications of gesture can still be heard, but gesture as such has disappeared from speech in more modern times. In dramatic speaking we still use it, but there alone; you will at the most be able to observe little hints of it in other kinds of speaking. There is in fact today quite a chaos of uncertainty regarding the relation of word to gesture. We shall receive striking evidence of this when we pass on from our study of speech formation, and come to consider the art of the stage.

It will help you to a better understanding of this question of gesture if you recall what I said about the gymnastics of the Greeks, at the end of yesterday's lecture. I showed you how their five main gymnastic exercises—Running, Leaping, Wrestling, Discus-throwing, Spear-throwing—are founded upon the connection of man with the cosmos. Starting from this relationship he has to the cosmos, man is in these exercises perpetually forming as it were another relationship, a relationship of gesture; and in gesture the force, the dynamic of the human being himself is present.

Now we shall find that in the fundamental mime movements of the stage we have faint reflections of what came to revelation in these exercises. If therefore we set out to study these reflections of the five exercises of Greek gymnastics, we shall be on the right path for discovering how gesture can come to the help of the word in dramatic art; for there is, in fact, no justifiable gesture for the stage that is not a kind of shadow-picture of some one of the five exercises of Greek gymnastics. That is, however, the other pole. The one pole is speech itself, the forming of speech.

The very word ‘forming’ takes us at once to the plastic quality of speech. The actual visible form has of course disappeared from view, we can no longer see it in the word. It should nevertheless still be there, it should be present in the word intensively. We must therefore begin with the word. And our first question will be: What can speech do? What should it be able to do, when it is raised to the level of art, when it is ‘formed’ ?

Now, there are certain definite capacities, certain definite faculties that speech can and should have. Beginning from the most external aspect of the matter, speech can be effective. We do not as a rule speak merely for the purpose of opening our mouth and emitting a sound; we speak in order that our speaking may accomplish something. Thus we have for our first capacity of speech: it can produce some result, it can be effective.

Then there is also the fact that in sound and word and sentence inner processes of the soul can find their revelation. And so we have what I may call the thoughtful aspect of speech. Besides being effective, speech can be thoughtful, reflective.

1. Effective2Where words are indented in this way in the center of the page, it is to indicate that they were written by the lecturer on the blackboard.
2. Thoughtful

It is easy enough today to study the effectiveness of speech. You have only to go to a political meeting, and you will find people making capital, quite instinctively, out of the effectiveness of speech. On the other hand, the study of thoughtfulness in speech presents considerable difficulty, since for the most part people talk for the sake of talking, not in order to express thoughts at all. It's the proper thing to do; of course we must talk! We are even brought up to regard this kind of talking as part of our equipment for social life. It is nevertheless essential, if you want to develop a right forming of speech, to recognise that speech can be thoughtful,—I should rather say, can reveal the thoughtful in man.

A further thing that speech can express is what we might call placing oneself tentatively into connection with the external world—proving, feeling, touching. It comes to expression in the question,—sometimes also in the wish. We lead our soul out into the world that is around us, but are all the time a little uncertain how we are going to enter it. This is a mood that can manifest in speech; one could call it a feeling forward, a cautious groping forward in face of whatever hindrances may be in the way.

3. A cautious feeling forward in face of hindrances.

The fourth thing to be observed is that speech can reveal antipathy to that which is approaching us. We experience a relation of antipathy to what is confronting us, and we bring the resultant feeling to expression in speech, either for the simple purpose of showing our antipathy, or with intent to criticise, or even perhaps in order to make a scene. And that gives a special nuance to the forming of our speech. So I will call the fourth capacity of speech: giving vent to antipathy.

4. Giving vent to antipathy.

Again, speech can declare or affirm sympathy, the opposite of the fourth.

5. Expressing sympathy.

And there is still a sixth thing that speech can reveal—namely, that we are drawing back into ourselves, withdrawing from our environment.

6. Drawing back on to one's own ground.

These are the six revelations of speech, which were known in the Greek Mysteries as the six shades or variations in the forming of speech, and were in those times the basis of all instruction in speech. Besides these, there are no others. Everything man can reveal in speech can be classed under e of these six. And if we want to raise our speaking to consciousness, we should try to study how these shades of feeling come to expression in speech.

It will, however, answer our purpose best if we do not at once proceed to a study of the spoken word, but first prepare the ground by a study of gesture, and then afterwards link the word on to the gesture. Proceeding in this way, we shall acquire a right feeling for the forming of speech, whereas by the reverse method, conclusions of an arbitrary nature would be constantly suggesting themselves—supposing, I mean, we were to start with the word (where the gesture has only now disappeared from view), with the idea of passing on thence to gesture. If, however, having recognised that the genius of speech works in these six ways, we then go on to study this genius of speech in gesture, we shall find that the way lies clear before us to go back afterwards to the word.

Suppose now we want to feel the ‘effective’ word in its right nuance. We can best express the feeling with a gesture of pointing. We have thus, first of all, the pointing gesture.

1. Effective: Pointing.

An interesting study can be made of the pointing gesture, by observing its use among the different peoples. England will be no place for such a study, for there no one cares to use gesture—not this gesture anyway; in England people speak with their hands in their pockets. Italy is the very best place in all Europe to study the pointing gesture in its connection with the word.

The ‘thoughtful’ quality in speech will find expression in e gesture or other of holding on to oneself, touching oneself. A man who is engaged in deep concentration will, for example, do this (finger on forehead), or perhaps this (finger on nose). Any such gesture will belong to a speaking that reveals thoughtfulness or reflection. You will even sometimes find this position (arms akimbo), and in some countries—I have come across it before now—when a person is contemplating giving another fellow a box on the ear, he will hold firmly on to himself like this (arms pressed against the side). And so we may say: Holding on to oneself is here the corresponding gesture.3‘I sat me down on a stone, put knee over knee and set my elbow thereon. Chin and cheek I nestled in my palm and narrowly I considered in what wise a man should live in this world.’ From Songs and Sayings of Walther von der Vogelweide, Minnesaenger, englished by Frank Betts.

2. Thoughtful: Holding on to oneself.

The ‘feeling forward in face of hindrances’ is something that can be experienced at once in gesture. You have only to ask yourself: What do I find myself doing, when I want to feel my way amid hindrances? I grope forward with my arms and hands in a sort of wavy, rolling movement.

3. Cautiously feeling one's way in face of hindrances: A rolling movement forward with arms and hands.

‘Antipathy’—no difficulty in feeling at once the gesture for this: a movement of rejection, flinging something away, ‘shaking the dust off one's feet’. If one is already a half-civilised human being, one makes the gesture so (slight movement of rejection with the hand); if one is uncivilised, then so (powerful movement with hand and foot).

4. Antipathy: Flinging out a limb.

To express ‘sympathy’ we make, or at least begin to make, a gesture that intimates we would like to touch or gently stroke the object of our sympathy. A hint of this at any rate must be implicit in the gesture. Thus, to assure another person of our sympathy, we reach out with our arm to touch him.

5. Sympathy: Putting out a hand or arm to touch the object of our sympathy.

And now for the ‘drawing back on to one's own ground', the withdrawal into oneself. This comes to expression in gesture when, for instance, we hold our arm first close to our body, and then thrust it out a little,—not quite in a horizontal direction, but slanting a little forward.

6. Drawing back on to one's own ground: Slanting a limb away from the body.

You will find it a good exercise to take what I have written here in the first column (see page 60), and feel each separate attribute of speech in the corresponding gesture that is given in the second column. For there is a natural and elementary connection between them. And to feel these connections is far more important for a right forming of speech than to undertake a systematic study of the holding of the breath, the position of the diaphragm, nasal resonance, and so on; that will all come of itself if we but live in the speech, beginning our study of it with a study of gesture in all its variations. If you once see clearly for yourselves that any particular one of these gestures in the second column has inherent within it the corresponding capacity of speech in the first column, then you will be rightly prepared for passing on to the artistic forming of the word, or of the sentence. And so now, having studied in each gesture the special nuance of soul that comes to expression in it, we must go on to consider how gesture can be led back again to the word.

If we have experienced how the gesture of ‘pointing’ reveals a condition of consciously directed activity in the soul, then that leads us on to perceive the connection between this pointing gesture and what I may call the incisive word, the forcible, decided way of speaking, of which we are aware that it is being powerfully impelled forward into the outgoing breath and the speaker's inner force is being driven into penetrating the word with a kind of metallic quality.

1. Incisive.

If, on the other hand, our word is to express what is inherent in the gesture of ‘holding on to oneself’, touching oneself, the gesture that reveals thoughtfulness, then it will have to be spoken with full tone. No question here of the word being thrust out and given a sharp, metallic ring! Rather shall we have to give to each vowel and each consonant the fullest tone of which it is capable: Und es wallet and woget and brauset and zischt.4Dr. Steiner explains elsewhere that when using this line from Schiller's Der Taucher with a therapeutic or educational end in view, he purposely changes ‘siedet’ into ‘woget’. There you have in each single vowel and consonant just as much tone as it can receive. When the sounds are uttered in this way to the full, then that always imbues the speaking with a reflective, thoughtful quality, giving it a mood that can be studied in all its variety in the gesture of holding on to oneself.

2. Full-toned.

The ‘cautious feeling forward in face of hindrances’, that is inherent in the gesture of a rolling, undulating movement with arms and hands—especially so (with the hands raised, palm-upwards)—comes to expression in speech when the voice trembles, or vibrates. It is helpful for the speaker if the poet uses here words that have as many r sounds as possible; for with r, the voice does naturally tremble.

So we have now three ways of forming speech: we can form it so that it becomes sharp, decided, or we can give fulness of tone to the sounds, or we can form it so that the sounds vibrate.

3. Trembling, or vibrating.

‘You tell me, I must reach that goal. But can I do it ?’ (the ‘can’ vibrating a little). ‘Can I do it ?’ You will feel the connection at once.

And now, when we come to antipathy, repudiation, where the gesture consists in flinging out the limbs, the word has to become hard. We must be able to feel its hardness. ‘I am busy. I don't want you here. Go away!’ There you have the word that is hard, spoken also in immediate connection with the flinging out of the hand.

4. Hard.

On account of this intimate connection between word and gesture, it is an excellent plan, if one wants to prepare oneself for recitation or for dramatic speaking, to begin by making a study of the whole scene in gesture alone, going right through it silently, while it is recited by someone else.

And now for the gesture of reaching out to touch the person or object. This gesture need not always be a declaration of sympathy; we can use it on the stage when we are describing something and are anxious to picture it accurately to the other person. It is thus also the gesture for description. And with this gesture, even if no human relationship is concerned, but all the more if a human relationship does enter in, the voice becomes soft and gentle. ‘And so you are bringing me this little child! I am always glad to see him. Come

5. Gentle.

Lastly, ‘drawing back on to one's own ground’, with the gesture of thrusting an arm or leg away from the body. If this gesture becomes real to us, we see at once that the corresponding word will be abrupt. ‘You think I ought to do my work; I want to go for a walk.’

6. Abrupt.

In the time of the ancient Mysteries, when men could still discern what was of real importance in life, this division of speech into its six modes or capacities was recognised. Later, when in every sphere of life people looked more to externalities, a further one was inserted after the second. The addition was somewhat arbitrary, for it was not altogether new, being really already contained in the ‘thoughtfulness’. We might describe it as the expression of a kind of ‘inability to come to a decision’—a particular nuance, as you see, of thoughtfulness or reflection. The gesture is that of holding the limbs quite still. And the corresponding formation of the word is that the words are spoken slowly. ‘Things have come to a bad pass; what am I to do?’—the ‘what am I to do?’ pronounced deliberately, with the words long drawn out. That gives the right nuance.

Speech (the character of its revelation)GestureGesture taken back into the word
1. EffectivePointingIncisive
2. ThoughtfulHolding on to oneselfFull-toned
7. Inability to come to a decisionLimbs held quite stillSlow and deliberate
3. Cautiously feeling forward in face
of hindrances
Rolling movement forward
with hands and arms
Vibrating, trembling
4. Antipathy, repudiationFlinging out an arm or legHard
5. Sympathy, recognitionReaching out to Gentle touch
the person or object
6. Drawing back on to one's own groundSlanting an arm or Abrupt
leg away from the body

What I am anxious to impress upon you particularly is that if we are setting out to study the forming of words and sentences, we must take our start from gesture, and then go back to speech and see what qualities—fulness, vibration, and so forth—rightly belong to the speaking of word and sentence.

For it is essential that we should get to know speech objectively, that we should make ourselves acquainted with the activity of the genius of speech. We can only do this by looking first at gesture and then following gesture right into the intoning of the single sounds; but this will come more easily if we have accustomed ourselves first to following up gesture into the intonation of the words, in the way I have been showing you. The manner of intoning the word must of necessity be found in the moment of speaking; the intoning of single sounds has to become a matter of habit. When, for example, a pupil is preparing a particular scene in a play, he should not really have to concern himself with the single sounds. The intoning of sounds must be taken as a separate study by itself. And one can literally follow the gesture and see it slip into the sound and disappear within.

Think of the musical intoning that is produced by wind instruments. Say you blow a trumpet. The air is set moving and you feel quite clearly : There is gesture in that moving air! You have only to imagine that the moving air inside the trumpet were to freeze a little, first becoming fluid and then solid, and you would see a beautiful gesture drawn there for you in the frozen air. Wonderful gestures would come to view. When we are listening to wind instruments, we are hearing gestures; we hear them quite plainly. In other words, we perceive how the gesture slips into the blowing of the instrument.

But now we have among our consonants some that can most decidedly be described as ‘blown’ or ‘breath’ sounds, which goes to show that the human voice is in principle a trumpet, although Nature has mercifully mitigated its force a little,—for when the human organ emits a deep sound like a trumpet, it begins to be rather unpleasant. We have nevertheless sounds which point unmistakably to the trumpet ature, the wind instrument nature, of the human voice. These are the sounds: h, ch (as in ‘loch'), j (as y ‘yacht'), sch (sh), s, f, w (v). And they are all of them sounds in which, as one listens to them, one can still hear the gesture.

On the other hand, there are sounds where the gesture disappears into the tone in such a way that one feels a need, not merely to hear but to see what the sound would convey. A good example is d, where you want also to see that the finger is there, pointing.5See Lectures II and III in Eurhythmy as Visible Speech. These are the ‘impact’ or ‘thrust’ sounds; and with them you want, as it were, to get away from hearing, and fancy that you can see the sound. Well-defined sounds of impact are: d, t, b, p, g, k, m, n.

Then we have a sound where we can hardly say the gesture has ‘disappeared’ in the sound, for it is still perceptible. I mean r, the vibrating sound.

Again, we have a sound which gives you the feeling: how lovely it would be to become that sound! This is l, the wave sound. You swim in the element of life when you have the true, genuine feeling of l.

The disappearance of the gesture into these sounds is a thing that can definitely be felt. Take first the ‘blown' sounds. The experience one has with these is essentially an experience of tone. Listen to them. The gesture has completely disappeared within the sound, but you can hear it; yes, you hear the gesture. With the sounds of impact, one would somehow like to fancy one can see them. And in a sense that is so; in one's imagination one sees these sounds.

The vibrating sound r is felt; and a keenly sensitive person will feel the r in his arms and hands. If, while someone is pronouncing r and giving it its full value, you are obliged to hold your hands and arms quite still, it will be enough to make them itch. An itching of this kind is nothing else than the normal reaction of a sensitive person to the utterance—and especially to the frequently repeated utterance—of the sound r. R, then, is felt, in arms and hands.

L on the other hand will normally be felt in the legs. It is an actual fact that when someone is saying l, you feel it in your legs. Thus, l too is felt, but now in legs and feet.

Blown Sounds: h, ch, j, sch, s, f, w: We hear the intoning of the sound.
Impact Sounds: d, t, b, p, g, k, m, n: We see the sound. Vibrating Sound: r: We feel the sound in arms and hands
Wave Sound: l: We feel the sound in legs and feet.

As we saw, in the case of the ‘blown’ sounds, which more than any others become objective for man, the gesture has so completely disappeared within, that we want only to hear the sound. Test this for yourselves with some poet who has a fine feeling for sound. When he wants to express something that is entirely detached from man, you will find these sounds constantly occurring; quite instinctively, he makes:use of blown or breath sounds. But suppose he wants to describe how man is taking part in it all—butting in, perhaps defending himself, beating, laying about him. Then you will find the sounds of impact frequently turning up. Or again, if some passage in the poem is intended to stir your feelings, if in the very hearing of it you are to be deeply moved, then at the appropriate place you will find r or l. Thus, in the case of all sounds other than blown sounds we are referred perforce to man and his gestures. With the blown sounds there is no need for your attention to be drawn to man as he is in gesture, since the gesture has here completely disappeared into the sound, it is there within. Studying in this way the various kinds of sounds, we see again how gesture disappears into speech.

We have all this time been approaching a profound truth that we can receive from the Mysteries concerning speech, and that we shall do well to inscribe in our hearts. It has not been handed down as a tradition, for it was never explicitly stated; it comes to us none the less as a heritage from the time of the Mysteries. It is a truth upon which we should meditate deeply and often, if we are seriously wanting to practise the art of speech,—and then meditate also upon all that will reveal itself further as a result of the meditation. In gesture lives the human being; there, in the gesture, is man himself. The gesture disappears into the speaking. When the word is intoned, then in the word man appears again, gesture-making man. When man speaks, we find in his speaking the whole human being—that is, if he knows how to form his speaking. Let us then receive, as a heritage from those times when speech was still part of the content of the Mysteries, this truth: Man who has disappeared in the gesture, rises again in the spoken word.

The art of the stage, that employs gesture, does not let man altogether disappear from the gesture. Neither does it let him wholly ‘rise again’ in the word. And this is what makes a dramatic performance so fascinating. For since man does not altogether disappear in the gesture (for the actor stands there before you as man in the gesture), nor yet fully rise again in the word, a possibility is created for the onlooker to take a share in the experience. He has to add in his fancy, in his own enjoyment of the drama, what is not yet fully present in the word that is spoken on the stage. So there you have—as it were, ready to hand—a situation that constitutes an essential element in the art of drama.

To-morrow, at the same hour, we will continue.