Conflict resolution in the medieval morality plays.

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  • Author(s): Wertz, Dorothy
  • Source:
    Journal of Conflict Resolution. Dec69, Vol. 13 Issue 4, p438. 16p.
  • Additional Information
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    • Abstract:
      This article deals with the conflict resolution in the medieval morality plays of England during the Middle Ages. In England, the last great age of popular theater was the late Middle Ages. The mystery plays, vernacular presentations of the Biblical history of the world from the "Creation" to "Doomsday," staged in the streets of scores of towns by members of the craft guilds, attracted large audiences from about 1350 until suppressed by the Reformation in about 1575 for political reasons. This universal popularity with all segments of the population over a period of two hundred years, without any change in the scripts, is unsurpassed by any other form of drama in English. The official intent of the mystery plays was to inculcate reverence, while the morality plays preached contrition and the moral life. Yet strange ambiguities present themselves, showing underlying currents of feeling quite opposed to the official intentions of church supervisors. These ambiguities appear in three forms.