Drama Reading Notes

Drama Reading Notes - Medieval Drama pg 203 209 Medieval...

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Medieval Drama – pg 203 – 209 Medieval period - Began with fall of Rome - Called the Dark Ages ( lack of knowledge for the time) - Liturgical Drama - Tropes – embellishments sung during parts of the Mass - Quem Quaeritis (whom seek ye?) – earliest known trope - Strong voice of Gandersheim – a nun in Saxony who wrote short plays about the laudable chastity of Christian virgins Miracle Plays - Corpus Christi – religious festival created by Pope Urban IV, featuring a pageant in which the Host was displayed publicly through the streets of a town. Shows connection between drama and religion - Miracle Plays – subject of miracles performed by saints, focusing on the Virgin Mary and St. Nicholas. - King Henry VIII banned them in the middle of the 16 th century during the reformation of the church. - Craft guilds soon began competing with each other in producing plays for Corpus Christi. o Most of their plays focused on bible stories and the life of Christ Mystery Plays - First produced by the clergy, they dramatized the mystery of Christ’s Passion. - Then produced by craft guilds an became known as Mystery Plays - “Mystery” used to describe a skill or trade known only to a few who apprenticed and mastered its special techniques. (AKA Religious mysteries) - Cycles – groups of plays numbering form 24 to 48. - N-town plays – generic version of cycles Morality Plays
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- Morality Plays – developed independently as moral tales in the late 14 th and earl 15 th centuries on the Continent and England. o Do Not illustrate moments in the bible or the life of Christ or the saints. - Dramatized sermon designed to teach a lesson. - Describe the lives of People facing the temptations of the world. o Present a warning to the unwary that their souls are always in peril and that the devil is on constant watch, so people must behave properly. - Allegory – the technique of giving abstract ideas or values a physical representation. o Abstractions such as goodness, sloth, greed, daintiness, vanity, strength, and hope became characters in the drama. - The central problem in morality plays was the salvation of humans, represented as the individual’s struggle to avoid sin and damnation and achieve salvation in the otherworld. - Everyman (best known morality play) Medieval Stage - Mansions – certain sections of the church devoted to specific short plays. o Each mansion represented a building or physical place known to the audience. o Audiences moved from one mansion to another to see the different plays. - Wagons with raised stages replaced mansion s once the plays moved outside the church - Pageant Carts moved to different locales so as many people as possible could see the plays. o Physically, they were a flat surface on wheels and a wagon next to it.
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