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One obvious explanation for this would be historical: the bloody spectacle of the Wars of Religion provided all the tragic theater that people needed.
When at length Konrad arrives, the General ushers him into the resplendently bedecked banquet room, unused since his wife Krisztina's death, then spends the rest of the book speaking to him across the table, re-creating the tragic theater of his waking dream of four decades--a series of events pivotal to their now being in this very room together.