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The Towneley and Chester Plays of the Shepherds: The Dynamic Interweaving of Power, Conflict, and Destiny

The Towneley and Chester Plays of the Shepherds: The Dynamic Interweaving of Power, Conflict, and... The Towneley and Chester Plays of the Shepherds: The Dynamic Interweaving of Power, Conflict, and Destiny by Norma Kroll HE two Wakefield Shepherds’ plays in the Towneley cycle and the Shepherds’ play in the Chester cycle offer far more complex Tand subtle representations of human nature, power, and destiny than scholars of medieval drama have yet recognized. These versions of the rustics’ exploits differ notably from each other, but, like the brief York and N-Town equivalents, they all end in scenes of the shepherds’ adoration of the infant Jesus. Scholars tend to regard these encounters between the divine and the human as the point of the actions and to treat the characters’ antics as typological prefigurations of Christ’s birth. All citations from the Towneley and Chester Shepherds’ plays are from the following editions: Martin Stevens and A. C. Cawley, eds., The Towneley Plays,  vols., Early English Text Society s.s.  and  (London: Oxford University Press, ); and Robert M. Lu- minsky and David Mills, eds., The Chester Mystery Cycle,  vols., Early English Text Society s.s.  and  (London: Oxford University Press,  and ). The definitive study of medieval typology is Erich Auerbach’s ‘‘Figura,’’ in http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Studies in Philology University of North Carolina Press

The Towneley and Chester Plays of the Shepherds: The Dynamic Interweaving of Power, Conflict, and Destiny

Studies in Philology , Volume 100 (3) – Aug 4, 2003

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2003 The University of North Carolina Press.
ISSN
1543-0383

Abstract

The Towneley and Chester Plays of the Shepherds: The Dynamic Interweaving of Power, Conflict, and Destiny by Norma Kroll HE two Wakefield Shepherds’ plays in the Towneley cycle and the Shepherds’ play in the Chester cycle offer far more complex Tand subtle representations of human nature, power, and destiny than scholars of medieval drama have yet recognized. These versions of the rustics’ exploits differ notably from each other, but, like the brief York and N-Town equivalents, they all end in scenes of the shepherds’ adoration of the infant Jesus. Scholars tend to regard these encounters between the divine and the human as the point of the actions and to treat the characters’ antics as typological prefigurations of Christ’s birth. All citations from the Towneley and Chester Shepherds’ plays are from the following editions: Martin Stevens and A. C. Cawley, eds., The Towneley Plays,  vols., Early English Text Society s.s.  and  (London: Oxford University Press, ); and Robert M. Lu- minsky and David Mills, eds., The Chester Mystery Cycle,  vols., Early English Text Society s.s.  and  (London: Oxford University Press,  and ). The definitive study of medieval typology is Erich Auerbach’s ‘‘Figura,’’ in

Journal

Studies in PhilologyUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Aug 4, 2003

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