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The Dark Ages
500 CE- 1500 CE
Developed from tropes, earliest trope known Quam Quaertitis, part of the service of Catholic mass
Embellishments sung as part of mass
"Whom seek ye?"; asked by the angel to the three Marys as the approach Christ's tomb
Small stage areas or platforms; became important as plays shift from religion and churches to drama and cities, set up for each individual play in a cycle
Dramatized miracles performed by the saints
Dramatized the mystery of Christ's passion, performed during Corpus Christi, could portray Biblical events all the way to Eden and beyond. Example: The Second Shepherd's Play
Used religious characters and themes to teach a moral lesson. Used allegory.
Stringing together of mystery and miracle plays. Example: The Wakefield Cycle
Producers of plays
Portable carriers of plays from town to town; may have been funded by guild producers
Audience favorite in a series of mansions; depicted the entrance to Hell with smoke and fireworks
Part usually reserved for the most seasoned actor
Decline in Religious Theater
1. Weakening of the church, resulting in Protestant Reformation
2. Shift from religious to secular dramatic material