Interlocutor

 
Interlocutor
The word interlocutor (ˌin-tər-ˈlä-kyə-tər) derives from Latin meaning speaks between and was first used in the 1500s.  It means someone with whom you are having direct conversation or someone who is the neutral party in a negotiations. Shakespeare and others in Elizabethan theater used interlocutors or speeches by actors, a herald or "chorus" to tell the audience what they needed to know about what was to come. The Interlocutor was a major part of early minstrels in the United States taking the role of master of ceremonies who interacted with the audience to aid in their following the action of the play. They literally stood in the middle of the actors and started then ended each segment. Much of the best humor of the ministrels derived from the confusion caused when  the sophisticated interlocutor used words unfamiliar to the less cultural "endmen.".  The Interlocutor in Three Fifths of a Man speaks directly to the audience and she is the neutral person who helps explain changes in characters or time.  For instance, to help inform the audience about the various education levels of the other characters she states "Now, Rutherford, on the other hand, was an educated man. He'd been to a medical school."
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