If the 15th century was poor in poetry and prose, it was rich in plays. COMPARE|
It saw the of medieval drama, which would pave the way for the FLOURISH
great Elizabethan theatre.
" Medieval drama developed from ceremonies: at first music was LITURGY
introduced into churches in the 6th century, words were later fitted to the melodies,
then sung dialogues between priest and choir began to emerge.
This helped the clergy convey the chief events of the Christian religion to an
illiterate populace by means of dramatic performances.
" Little by little, processional and effects and stage properties were added; SCENE
this produced a evolution from liturgical drama to real plays: Miracle GRADE
(on the Gospel and on Christ's life) and Mystery Plays (on the lives of saints).
In addition, Latin was slowly replaced by the vernacular, and secular elements became
" As the Miracle Plays grew in and the audience grew in size, the plays POPULAR
were removed from the churches and began to be performed out of doors, first in the
church courtyard and then in other open spaces of the town.
So that as many people as possible could see it, each play was repeated several times
in different parts of the town, with the help of a structure called a pageant. MOVE
A pageant was a carriage on six wheels in the form of a small house with two vertical
rooms: in the lower room the actors prepared themselves, and in the one, which UP
was open on all four sides, they acted their roles.
Thus, Miracle Plays had become a form of popular art characterized by:
o of diction in the vernacular language, English. SIMPLE
o a contemporary setting, i.e. typically medieval with several characters, acted by
o a comic touch: devils were comic, and even a character like Noah was turned into
a comic figure by the presence of his domineering wife. This made these plays
less "elevated" and thus they better suited the taste of a generally ILLITERACY
" Little by little the of the plays was taken over by the guilds under the PERFORM
management of the municipal authorities and the actors were professionally trained. PROFESSION
The second great literary product of the time, the Morality Play, which was less STRICT
religious: whereas Miracles were concerned with events, the Morality Play BIBLE
focused on the conflict between good and evil.
It aimed less at teaching the scriptures than at improving people's moral conduct, and
was therefore intended for a more learned audience No longer inspired by episodes from
the Bible, now began inventing their own plots, albeit stereotyped, which DRAMA
were didactic in content and allegorical in form.
In with the medieval love of allegory, in fact, the Morality Play presented ACCORD
personifications of vices and virtues (Avarice, Luxury, Gluttony, Anger, etc.) and
characters (Everyman, Mankind). GENERAL
The lines were rhymed, as in the Miracles, but the atmosphere was more melancholy.