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Miracle and mystery plays

In the Middle Ages religious festivities and the services were only act of worship for the believers, but opportunities for entertainment as well. During the great Christian festivals such as Christmas and Easter were represented in forms of dialogues sung between a priest and the chair. These stories from the Bible were held in Latin and first given dramatic form in the church. In England, such performance gradually moved out into the churchyard and then into other part of the town. In this way miracle and mystery plays came into being in the 13th century and developed over the next two hundred years. Mystery plays usually dealt with events of the Bible while miracle plays used stories from the lives of the saints. Town guilds soon took change of the performances. The play were mainly performed outdoors as there were no proper theatres yet. In fact they were performed an moveable stages called eants. These eants were drawn by horses and stopped at prearranged places in town, often in the market place.

Morality plays

Morality plays, another form of religious allegorical drama, represented a popular medium by means of which the message of the Bile could be conveyed to a wide and mostly illiterate audience. The  characters were not taken from the Bible but were usually static symbols of fixed values and ideas, such as the vices or the virtues. The most highly regarded of the morality plays is Everyman which dates from the late 15th century and deals with man's fear of and reconciliation with death. Everyman is an allegorical religious drama, perhaps of Dutch origin, which derives from oral tradition and dates from around the end of the 15th century. Everyman is called by Death to appear before God asks for the support of  his "friends". All have allegorical names and are personifications of various virtues and aspects of human life, including Beauty, Goods and Good Deeds.


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