Article Title

Visible Words: The York Plays, Brecht, and Gestic Writing


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

In a recent essay on "Medieval Acting," John R. Elliot, Jr., presents a variety of eyewitness testimonies and generally opposing modern critical opinions concerning the craft of medieval actors. This body of evidence leads him to conclude that we as modern critics

have, perhaps, been misled by some of the apparently Brechtian elements in medieval playscripts into thinking that the ultimate effect of medieval plays upon their audiences was fundamentally different from that of great plays at any time. If that is so, then we should possibly throw away the notion that the goals of medieval acting were necessarily different in kind, or more limited, than those of other periods, and get on with the study of how these goals were taught, executed, and appreciated by their audiences.1

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