From Jerusalem to Damascus: Bilocal Dramaturgy in Medieval and Shakespearian Conversion Plays


In lieu of an abstract, the first paragraph of the essay follows:

In medieval religious drama, the stage is a moral world - stage spaces have moral significance which an audience perceives or apperceives as a complement to the action that takes place in and around them. The classic example is the conventional spatial relation between sinister Hellmouth and dexter Paradise.1 An analogous stage direction in the Ordo Repraesentationis Adae makes clear how consciously early drama worked for emblematic effects through use of stage space:

Tun ibunt [Chaim et Abel] ad duos magnos lapides qui and hoc erunt parati. Alter ab alero lapide erit remotus, ut cum ap[p]aruerit Figura [i.e., God], sit lapis Abel ad dexreram eius, lapis vero Chaim ad sinistram...2

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