This collection of essays in English by scholars of international standing presents new insights into the contexts in which the fifteenth-century French mysteres were created. It is centred upon the remarkable outburst of large-scale plays written for urban production and dealing with biblical and hagiological subjects which transformed the art of theatre in France and gave rise to a new and multi-faceted theatrical culture. Among the subjects treated are the means by which surviving texts preserve theatrical practice, and some of the ways in which the work of the principal dramatists Eustache Mercade, Arnoul Greban and Jean Michel interact with one another and with the work of others. The nature of some surviving texts is subjected to close scrutiny and this includes detailed work upon some manuscripts and their typology. Attention is also given to the related moralites, the convent drama, and to the large corpus of Catalan plays which deal with similar topics but in different circumstances. Further contexts are addressed through paradramatic aspects including sermons and the chansons de geste, as well as the political environment. One recurring feature is the nature and activities of ubiquitous and powerful evil characters and their theatrical and theological significance.
Peter Happe: Introduction Veronique Dominguez: Mystere, Farce, Moralite: A Reflection upon the Poetics of Drama in the Middle Ages, Based on Ms. BnF fr. 904, Passion de Semur (Fifteenth Century), and Some Other Burgundian Manuscripts Vicki L. Hamblin: The Theatricality of Pre- and Post-Performance French Mystery Play Texts Peter Happe: Michel Adapts Greban: Some Aspects of the Passion Sequence Olivia Robinson: Chantilly, Musee Conde, Ms. 617: Mysteres as Convent Drama Charlotte Steenbrugge: "Haro! Haro! Sus, dyablerie": The Theatricality of Devils in Temptation Sequences Marla Carlson: Le Mystere de Saint Sebastien's Villain: "No Cuckoo is a Sparrowhawk" Richard Hillman: La Pucelle and the Godons in the Mistere du Siege d'Orleans: Civic Pageant and Popular Tradition Alan Hindley: "Laisser l'Istoire ...et Moralisier ung Petit": Aspects of Allegory in the Mysteres Jelle Koopmans: Turning a Chanson de Geste into a Mystery, or Non-Religious and Chivalric Mystery Plays Charles Mazouer: Sermons in the Passions of Mercade, Greban and Jehan Michel Francesc Massip and Lenke Kovacs: A Typology of Catalan Play Manuscripts from the Fourteenth to the Sixteenth Century Contributors