English Mystery Cycle Dramas The Fall From Grace In The Mystery Cycles - Essay

The Fall From Grace In The Mystery Cycles

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

Rosemary Woolf (essay date 1972)

SOURCE: "Plays of the Fall," in The English Mystery Plays, University of California Press, 1972, pp. 105-31.

[In the following essay, Woolf discusses the treatment of the subject of the fall from grace in the mystery cycle dramas, contrasting the plays' dramatic interpretation of supernatural events with the description of those episodes in the Bible and in the commentary of theologians.]

The mystery cycles begin and end in the heavens, the opening play of the Fall of the Angels being on a subject never dramatised before and rarely since. The story was reconstructed by the Fathers by the piecing together of a...

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