Undergraduate English Courses

358:310 Medieval Drama

02   MTH3   CAC    20134   NOVACICH    MU-213

This course surveys the great works of medieval drama, investigating possible relationships between history and religion, world and stage, work and play, and actors and audience. Readings include excepts from the liturgies, Middle English mystery plays, medieval morality plays, and works by early modern and contemporary playwrights who re-imagine the worlds created in those earlier places of performance. We will consider the breath-taking scope of the cycle drama, which attempts to stage the world from the moment of creation to the Last Judgment; the representation of time; the logistics of staging; the nature of performance; issues of gender and religious difference; and the question of what counts as sacred. With hard work, by the end of the semester you will have acquired knowledge of the medieval religious and cultural frameworks within which these plays were written and performed, as well as a working knowledge of Middle English.