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Article Title

Comic Eschatology in the Chester Coming of Antichrist

Abstract

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

The Coming of Antichrist is in a twofold sense unique. Of the extant English Corpus Christi cycles, only The Chester Plays present a drama of Antichrist, and only the Chester Master among medieval writers conceives the character, elsewhere invested with horrific attributes, as pervasively comic.1 The persistent appearance of Antichrist in sermons, homilies, and art attests, however, to the universal credence once attached to the legend. Perennial warnings of Antichrist's impending coming thrived upon preachers' eagerness to foster a penitential spirit among the faithful. An early illustration of this sentiment occurs in the Sermo Lupi ad Anglos; likewise the Cursor Mundi prefaces description of the Day of Doom with a summons to repentance.2

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