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EN9A9 Medieval Theatre

Tutor: Dr Teresa Grant

I AM UNABLE TO RUN THIS MODULE THIS YEAR BECAUSE OF WORKLOAD CONFLICTS. PROSPECTIVE STUDENTS WHO WANTED TO TAKE THIS CLASS ARE ENCOURAGED TO CONSIDER IF THEY MIGHT WISH TO FOLLOW THE READING LIST AND WORK WITH ME ON A DISSERTATION ON MEDIEVAL THEATRE INSTEAD. PLEASE EMAIL t dot grant at warwick dot ac dot uk TO DISCUSS THIS.

This module examines a range of British medieval play texts, including the mystery cycles, miracle plays and moralities. We will investigate the playing conditions of the time which were affected both by the physical resources and the religio-political contexts into which these works intervened. The course seeks to strike a balance between some of the most famous plays of the period, and lesser-known examples which feed into these dramatic traditions. We will develop an understanding of major dramatic trends, and the plays' significance as precusors of Shakespearean drama and to their classical precursors, as well as the ways in which they reflect the political, religious and social concerns of their time. There will be several set plays each week, depending on their length. Some of the seminars may involve OSL (Open Space Learning), exploring creativity and performance in teaching and learning, using new forms of creative pedagogy associated with workshop practice and collaborative learning in flexible teaching spaces.

The seminar will be weekly for two hours, on Monday afternoon between 3 and 5.

Outline Syllabus

Week 1, Creation and Fall: York (The Barkers) The Fall of the Angels; Chester (The Tanners) The Fall of Lucifer; York (The Coopers) The Fall of Man; Chester (The Drapers), Adam and Eve.
Week 2, Man’s Turpitude: York (Glovers) Sacrifice of Cain and Abel; Towneley, The Killing of Abel; Chester (The Drapers) Cain and Abel. God’s Promise: York (Shipwrights) Building of the Ark; York (Fishers and Mariners) Noah and His Wife; Towneley, Noah; Chester (The Waterleaders and Drawers of Dee) Noah.
Week 3, Nativity: York (The Pewterers and Founders) Joseph’s Trouble about Mary; N-Town (Ludus Coventriae), Joseph; York (The Tilethatchers) The Nativity; N-Town (Ludus Coventriae), The Nativity; Towneley, The First Shepherds’ Play; Towneley, The Second Shepherds’ Play; Chester (The Painters and Glaziers), The Shepherds.
Week 4, The York Realist: York (Cutlers) Conspiracy; York (Cordwainers) Agony and Betrayal; York (Bowyers and Fletchers) Peter's Denial and Jesus before Caiphas; York (Tapiters and Couchers) Dream of Pilate's Wife; York (Listers) Trial before Herod; York (Cooks and Water-leaders) Second Accusation before Pilate; Remorse of Judas; Purchase of the Field of Blood; York (Tilemakers) Second Trial before Pilate; York (Butchers) Mortification of Christ and Burial.
Week 5, Crucifixion and Resurrection: Towneley, The Scourging; York (Shearman) Christ Led to Calvary; York (Pinners and Painters) Crucifixion; Chester (Fletchers, Bowyers, Coopers and Stringers) Trial and Flagellation; Chester (Ironmongers) Crucifixion; York (Saddlers) Harrowing of Hell; Chester (Cooks) Harrowing of Hell; York (Carpenters) Resurrection; Chester (Skinners) Resurrection and the Three Maries.
Week 6, The Body of Christ: Croxton, The Play of the Sacrament
Week 7, Moralities: Mankind and Everyman
Week 8, Interludes 1: Henry Medwall, Fulgens and Lucres and John Skelton, Magnificence.
Week 9, Interludes 2: John Heywood, The Play of the Weather and John Bale, John Baptystes Preachynge
Week 10, Scotland: Sir David Lindsay, Ane Satyre of The Thrie Estaitis.