Catholic Culture Trusted Commentary
Catholic Culture Trusted Commentary

174—Medieval Mystery Plays w/ Gregory Roper

By Catholic Culture Podcast ( bio - articles - email ) | Feb 22, 2024 | In The Catholic Culture Podcast

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Gregory Roper, a professor of literature at the University of Dallas, joins the podcast to discuss medieval “mystery plays” (also called “miracle plays”). In England these plays, often grouped together in cycles spanning all of salvation history, were performed by town guilds for the festival of Corpus Christi. This tradition, which developed out of the liturgy, could be said to represent the revival of drama in Europe, and was an important influence on the Elizabethan theatre. Shakespeare referenced this tradition a number of times in his plays.

The plays, which served a partly didactic purpose, are full of theological typology, but also delightful verse, earthy humor, and a thought-provoking use of anachronism.

Links

Episode on English carols https://www.catholicculture.org/commentary/episode-59-glorious-english-carol/

A.C. Cawley, Everyman and Medieval Miracle Plays https://www.amazon.com/Everyman-Medieval-Miracle-Plays-Cawley/dp/046087280X

Theme music: “Franciscan Eyes”, written and performed by Thomas Mirus. Download the Catholic Culture Podcast soundtrack.

Thomas V. Mirus is Director of Podcasts for CatholicCulture.org, hosts The Catholic Culture Podcast, and co-hosts Criteria: The Catholic Film Podcast. See full bio.

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