The Staging of the Assumption in Europe


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

One of the most widely used plots in the late medieval religious theater-and one that offers perhaps the greatest variety of staging-throughout European countries is the Death and Assumption of the Virgin Mary. There are, of course, numerous and different staging solutions to the scenographic problems presented by this and other stories in different regions of the continent. Interestingly, in contrast to Northern Europe where the mythological past had been marked by terrible deities with a resulting tendency for drama to emphasize scenes of hell and its devils, the South, where the cultural background had been a previous classical mythology with an anthropomorphic and gentle Olympus, preferred displays involving Paradise and using bold aerial machines. These are two different theatrical emphases, both of which express from opposite cultural bases the great messages of the Christianity that after all had come into being as a religion within the classical Roman world.

Comparative Drama is carried by JSTOR and Project MUSE.