New PDF release: The Chester Mystery Cycle: A New Edition With Modernised

New PDF release: The Chester Mystery Cycle: A New Edition With Modernised

By David Mills, R. M. Lumiansky

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Read or Download The Chester Mystery Cycle: A New Edition With Modernised Spelling (Medieval Texts and Studies ; No. 9) PDF

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Extra info for The Chester Mystery Cycle: A New Edition With Modernised Spelling (Medieval Texts and Studies ; No. 9)

Example text

Authorities are also expressly cited by the Expositor (using, for example, St. Jerome and St. Augustine to validate his interpretations of the Temptation and the Woman taken in Adultery in play 12), and there are repeated passing allusions to biblical authorities scattered throughout the cycle. These reference seem to confirm the evangelising purpose of the cycle attributed to Higden in the Banns, and the use of the Vulgate text would also reinforce that picture of him as a translator and would give support to the continuation of productions in the Reformation period.

The Fall of Lucifer, for example, relates the separation of the rebellious angels from the loyal angels and their respective locations in hell and heaven to the separation of darknes and light by God at the end of the play, thereby giving a symbolic implication to an event which is realised on a literal level at the start of the second play. And the shepherds of play 7, who begin as comic Welsh rustics in search of their sheep, conclude by exchanging literal pastoralism for an anachronistic spiritual pastoralism.

It was to this occasion, by a process still not fully understood, that the religious plays that we call "mysteries" became attached. Corpus Christi Day was an act of mutual affirmation. The Church affirmed the God on whom all existence and all hope of salvation depended, leading Him like a king on a royal entrance. In so doing, it also affirmed the authority of the Church rooted in the priestly power to effect transubstantiation. The Town affirmed its acceptance of this belief and its support for the Church, while at the same time displaying the ordered hierarchy and splendour of the civic authority.

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