The logic of time and space in early French opera is well known: acts normally occur in a single setting, except in cases of explicit supernatural intervention, and in real time; entr'actes most often accompany a change of setting and represent the passage of time. This temporal and spatial organization has two corollaries: on the one hand, the autonomy of the act, framed by ruptures in time and usually space; on the other, the continuity of implied action, connecting adjacent acts in the spectators' imagination. This creates an unsettling compression of time as well as space: formal mourning follows without a break the retrieval of the body from the battlefield. Twentieth-century directors generally understood the theatrical palace courtyard to be a visually neutral space, where purely psychological drama could unfold without reference to locale.