The Wakefield Master's Dramatic Art

PDF EBook by Liam O. Purdon

EBook Description

"Liam Purdon uses philosophical, historical, and poetical sources brilliantly to place the Wakefield Master in the right literary pantheon—the ranks of English dramatical geniuses leading up to Marlowe and Shakespeare. The Wakefield Master's Dramatic Art PDF EBook"—James J. Paxson, University of Florida

"Liam Purdon's exploration of the relationship between the natural, the practical, the technical, and the spiritual aspects of medieval life, as it was lived and celebrated in the Towneley plays, yields rich insights pertinent to scholars of the Middle Ages."—Laura F. Hodges, author of Chaucer and the Costume: The Secular Pilgrims in the General Prologue

The Wakefield Master's Dramatic Art examines a single unknown playwright's distinct contribution to the Towneley collection of plays by providing new interpretations of the six plays and two play revisions attributed to this remarkable late- PDF15th-century artist.

Liam Purdon demonstrates how the Master imaginatively treats the axiomatic medieval understanding of the relationship between the cooperative serving of God and serving of self through the technological mastery and practical use of nature. He shows how individual plays offer the audience a way of comprehending cooperation in terms of either abuse or proper use of nature, in terms of the kind of mind that is ready to engage in or reject cooperation, and in terms of the blatant abuse of technological mastery of the legal and political arts.

The distinctive feature of this approach to the Master's work is that it turns attention from the materiality of performance to the figural dimension of the drama itself. Such resituating of the drama as object of critical scrutiny provides an opportunity to reexamine how the medieval mind understood the ethical dimension of aesthetic expression and used that expression to effect individual as well as civic reform.

Liam O. Purdon is professor of English at Doane College. Like this book? Read online this: The Methuen Drama Book of New American Plays, Mr. Wakefield's Crusade.

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