English medieval mystery plays

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English medieval mystery plays

Post  eddie on Thu Apr 21, 2011 7:10 am

ATU thread from the old site on Trade Guild sponsorship of English medieval Biblically-inspired popular street pageants:

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:KrbQ0yOMV1oJ:acrosstheuniverse.forumotion.com/t4695-trade-union-sponsorship-of-medieval-drama+site:acrosstheuniverse.forumotion.com+Acrosstheuniverse+%2B+medieval+trade+unions+sponsored+drama&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=uk&source=www.google.co.uk

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Re: English medieval mystery plays

Post  eddie on Tue May 31, 2011 9:29 pm

^

Thread replicated below in the event of link expiry:

********************************************************************

The term "Mystery play" has nothing to do with the subtleties of religious dogma; it refers to the medieval trade guilds (a particular trade/craft was a "mystery") who staged pageants based on Biblical stories, each pageant wagon depicting a particular Biblical story and sponsored by a particular guild:


Medieval pageant wagon representing scene of Christ before Pilate.

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Re: English medieval mystery plays

Post  eddie on Tue May 31, 2011 9:30 pm


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Re: English medieval mystery plays

Post  eddie on Tue May 31, 2011 9:31 pm


Plan of the Lucerne passion play.

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Re: English medieval mystery plays

Post  eddie on Tue May 31, 2011 9:33 pm


Coventry Mystery Cycle pageant wagon.

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Re: English medieval mystery plays

Post  eddie on Tue May 31, 2011 9:34 pm


Hellmouth, a popular image in medieval drama which lingered on in the Elizabethan theatre (see Marlowe's Doctor Faustus, the story of a man who sells his soul to the devil and gets his comeuppance).


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Re: English medieval mystery plays

Post  eddie on Tue May 31, 2011 9:36 pm


Neither is it difficult to see this medieval representation of the martyrdom of St Apollonia as foreshadowing the theatrical horrors of Elizabethan Revenge drama.

Shakespeare understood the public taste for blood and gore very well. The scene above might have come from Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus.


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Re: English medieval mystery plays

Post  Constance on Wed Jun 01, 2011 3:26 am

Back in 1984, I saw a mystery play performed outside on a very chilly evening in York. The actor who played Jesus at the crucifixion must have been freezing. He played the scene stripped down to his underwear.

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