Search Results

ENTH BC3190 Diabolical Drama of the Middle Ages. 3 points.

Not offered during 2021-22 academic year.

Hell bursts onto the European stage at the end of the Middle Ages. Satan and his attendant devils, although present in earlier forms of Christian drama, become a defining feature of the dramatizations of Christian history and morality in Late Medieval England. The devils of these plays are disruptive, anarchic, seductive and repulsive. They are rhetorically bewitching and morally dangerous. This course will pay close attention to these devils and their devilry. What do they do? How do they speak? What do they know and what choice do they have in being so diabolical? Rather than viewing devils simply as spiritual antagonists, instead we will investigate them as complex creatures doing serious theological work in the difficult and spiritually tumultuous towns of late medieval England. Through close critical inquiry, contextual reading and some of our own imaginative stagings, we will explore the central role of the "diabolic" in late medieval drama and its sometimes troubling vision of Christian life.