Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
|Title:||Obedience, Disorder, and Grace in the Noah Mystery Plays|
|Authors:||Cole, George Edward|
|Keywords:||English Language and Literature;English Language and Literature|
|Abstract:||<p>This thesis studies the attempts made in the Noah plays of the medieval mystery cycles to adapt the basic details of the Great Flood to a much broader contemporary Christian context. Although the biblical source provides little detail, the playwrights consistently portray a Noah who, because of his obedience and meekness, qualifies to be saved from the terrible destruction. Before and after the flood, however, the nature of fallen man and the active interference of Satan continue to threaten what should be a harmonious relationship between man and God. In varying ways all of the Noah plays, including the Newcastle fragment, show that a struggle to earn God's grace must be made against the forces of disorder which occur in contemporary forms. Dramatic improvisations show parallels between Noah's wife and Eve whose complicity with Satan led to the original expulsion from Eden, or indicate the kinds of conditions under which grace may be received.</p> <p>In addition, the Noah plays reveal that the events of the flood were seen as evidence of the extension of God's grace to man throughout biblical history. The escape from death which Noah and his family experience is a figure of the spiritual salvation made available through the sacrifice of Christ. The various playwrights reveal the connection between flood and crucifixion through the use of conventions such as typology, ironic juxtapositions and scenic counterparts. As Noah may be seen as a type of Christ, those agents who initiated disorder in Eden and in the Noah plays recur in later plays as characters who reject the message of Christ and the opportunity for grace provided by His sacrifice. As a group, therefore, the Noah plays reveal the significance of the role which medieval playwrights gave to divine grace and its potential for the salvation of man.</p>|
|Appears in Collections:||Open Access Dissertations and Theses|
Items in MacSphere are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.