The "Noble Gyn" of Comedy in the Middle English Cycle Plays
This study examines the cycle dramatists' use of comedy as a noble gyn, a clever artifice used to bring their audiences, unawares, to a state of greater spiritual understanding and acceptance. Through their emotional involvement with the comic action of the mystery cycles, the spectators are lured to participate in often vigorous struggles with the difficult issues of faith: divine authority, the limits of humanity, divine incarnation, the meaning of Christ's suffering.
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Comedy in the Cycle Plays
Old Testament Challenges to Authority
Comic Questioning of the Incarnation
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3our action Baird biblical Caiaphas Cain and Abel Cain's Caym character characterization Chester play Christ comedy comic development Comparative Drama context Corpus Christi Corpus Christi Play critics Crucifixion cycle plays dede dramatist Early English Text earthly emotional emphasis English Drama English Mystery English Text Society example fabliau faith ffor Garcio God's Harrowing of Hell haue Herod human humor husband important involvement irony Jerome Taylor Joseph Joseph's Return knights Kolve laugh laughter Lucifer Mactacio Abel Mary Mary's Medieval English Middle English miracle myght mystery cycles Mystery Plays N-Town play Nativity neuer nevyr Noah Noah's wife offers parody Pilate playwright presentation Prosser religious reminder repentance response reveals scene Second Shepherds secular Secunda Pastorum sense spectators Speculum speech spiritual stage story Studies suggests symbolic thematic theme thou tion tone torturers Towneley Plays tradition Wakefield Cycle Wakefield Master wold Woolf wyff York Realist