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14 terms

Medieval theater

STUDY
PLAY
The Dark Ages
500 CE- 1500 CE
Liturgical drama
Developed from tropes, earliest trope known Quam Quaertitis, part of the service of Catholic mass
Tropes
Embellishments sung as part of mass
Quam Quaertitis
"Whom seek ye?"; asked by the angel to the three Marys as the approach Christ's tomb
Mansions
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
Miracle plays
Dramatized miracles performed by the saints
Mystery plays
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
Morality plays
Used religious characters and themes to teach a moral lesson. Used allegory.
Cycles
Stringing together of mystery and miracle plays. Example: The Wakefield Cycle
Guilds
Producers of plays
Pageant wagons
Portable carriers of plays from town to town; may have been funded by guild producers
Hell mouth
Audience favorite in a series of mansions; depicted the entrance to Hell with smoke and fireworks
Devil
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