English Mystery Cycle Dramas The Doctrine Of Repentance And The Mystery Cycles - Essay

The Doctrine Of Repentance And The Mystery Cycles

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

Eleanor Prosser (essay date 1961)

SOURCE: "The Doctrine," in Drama and Religion in the English Mystery Plays: A Re-Evaluation, Stanford University Press, 1961, pp. 19-42.

[In the following essay, Prosser discusses the importance of the doctrine of repentance to the medieval worldview and, hence, to understanding the mystery cycles. Prosser argues for the educational role of the performances in relation to liturgical doctrine.]

In light of the history of both the Church and the theater, it is appropriate to begin a study of the mystery cycles with the doctrine of repentance. Knowledge of this doctrine is essential for an understanding of all...

(The entire section is 7365 words.)