Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Medieval Morality Plays Essay -- Mystery Plays History Historical Essa

Medieval Morality Plays   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Throughout time, there have been many books, plays, songs, pamphlets, sermons, lectures, etc. written. These writings were all written with some kind of purpose to either inform, persuade, entertain, or teach their audience. One such form of literature not too widely known about is that of the medieval morality plays. These plays were not aimed to entertain, but to teach morals and religion to the uneducated lower classes of people in medieval Europe. The morality plays were also quite necessary to teach and inform the underclass people, through the thoughtful persuasion of play entertainment.   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Morality plays, as said above, were most popular and most widely present in medieval times. They were also found in the early times of the renaissance, but in those times they were aimed more for entertainment rather than their original purpose of teaching and informing. (Warren 2). Location wise, most morality plays were written by French and English playwrights, but they can be found throughout Europe at that time. (1). An early predecessor of the morality plays were the mystery and miracle plays of the earlier medieval period. (1). Of the two, morality plays were more similar in the aim of the messages and such to the miracle plays rather than the mystery plays. (1). The main difference between the morality and the miracle plays is that the morality plays were allegorical, not historical like the miracle plays. (1). The morality plays were also known to be more on the entertainment side than the miracle and mystery plays. (1). The content of the morality plays is what played a hand in the persuasion of its audience. They taught their audiences because their main object was both religious and ethical and easy to grasp for the uneducated population whom largely went to its productions. (Warren 1). The plays also often examined the Christian character so that the flaws and strengths can be pointed out. (1). The plays were centered mainly on faith, dogma, and the application of the Christian doctrine to common folk life. (1). The characters of the morality plays were usually abstract qualities such as greed, friendship, love, death, etc. (1). There were many other cases when the characters of the morality plays were not abstract qualities. These alternative roles were ones of angels, devils, priests, doctors, fools (found usua... ...ordinary because they not only taught the uneducated, but they also influenced many forms of western drama down the line. (1). In conclusion, the morality plays of the 14th, 15th, and 16th century medieval periods have a rich history behind them. The morality plays did not only entertain the higher, educated classes of the medieval times, but they taught Christian morals and values to the uneducated lower class of people. Without the morality plays, the underclass people would of never learned about their religion and in result many things in the church may not be how we know it now. The morality plays also persuaded modern drama and that too, may of been very different from what it is today if it wasn't for the medieval morality plays. All in all, morality plays were important for the cultural growth of the western world. Works Cited Dohrn, Lori. Religion and Medieval Literature: A Look at Morality Plays. 14 Feb1999. Hanning, Robert W. "Miracle, Mystery, and Morality Plays." The Encyclopedia Americana.   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  1997 ed. Morality Play. 22 Feb 1999. Morality Plays. 22 Feb 1999. Warren, K.M. "Moralities (Morality Plays)." The Catholic Encyclopedia. 1998 ed.

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