The Dramatic Strategies of Chester's Passion Pagina


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

It has become a staple judgment of medieval drama criticism that the extended brutalities of Christ's humiliations and tortures dramatized in the Passion sequences of the English cycles were intended to evoke from the community of spectators a complex congeries of emotions-a powerful mix of pity, piety, grief, horror, guilt and awe. The ways in which the cycles controlled the evocation of these emotions and made the viewing of Christ's protracted sufferings an aesthetically satisfying experience has therefore been a preeminent concern in evaluating the craft of the Corpus Christi playwrights. The progress of this evaluation, however, has been compromised by an assumption that the analysis of certain techniques employed by most of the cycles will reveal the strategies used in all the cycles to control the emotions and sway the beliefs of their viewers.

Comparative Drama is carried by JSTOR and Project MUSE.