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Lecture 6

Medieval theatre

MORALITY PLAYS

The Pride of Life


The Castle of Perseverance
Mankind
Wisdom
Everyman

Common features
 the life of man and his struggle against sin
 temptation, fall, and redemption
 allegorical figures
 central representative human figure (Mankind, Everyman, Humanum Genus)
 personification of the forces of good and evil which act upon man

Sources
Aurelius Clemens Prudentius, Psychomachia
 Idolatry, Lust, Wrath, Pride, Indulgence, Greed, Discord vs Faith, Chastity, Patience, Humility,
Sobriety, Good Works, Concord
 allegorization of good and evil
 a battle within the mind
 allegorization of human traits

The Castle of Perseverance


 before the birth of Mankind (or Humanum Genus) > after his death > salvation
 three enemies: the World, the Flesh, the Devil
 followers: the Seven Deadly Sins
 World - Greed (Avarice, or Covetousness)
 Flesh - Sloth, Gluttony, Lechery
 the Devil - Pride, Wrath, Envy
 the Good and Bad Angels
 Pleasure and Folly
 Backbiter
 Castle of Perseverance: the seven cardinal virtues - Meekness (Humility), Abstinence, Chastity,
Charity, Patience, Generosity, Busyness (Industry)
 the Four Daughters of God — Truth, Justice, Peace, Mercy