Characters representing various sins and vices became the stars of their respective theatrical traditions in the course of the late medieval and early modern period in both the Low Countries and England. This study assesses the importance of such characters, and especially the English Vice and Dutch sinnekens, for our understanding of medieval and sixteenth-century Dutch and English drama by charting diachronic developments and through synchronic comparisons. The analysis of the functions as well as theatrical and meta-theatrical aspects of these characters reveals how these plays were conditioned by their literary and social setting. It sheds invaluable light on the subtly divergent appreciation of the concept of drama in these two regions and on their different use of drama as a didactic tool. In a wider perspective this study also investigates how the moral plays and their negative characters reflect the changes in the intellectual and religious climate of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.
Against a background which included revolutionary changes in religious belief, enlargement of dramatic styles and the technological innovation of printing, this collection of essays about biblical drama offers innovative approaches to text and performance, while reviewing some well-established critical issues.
This is one of the most comprehensive anthologies of enduring masterpieces of Western drama available. The critical and interpretive histories of the works, as well as background on the theaters where the plays were produced highlight the cultural and theatrical context of dramatic performances. The collection features 39 plays and 1 trope from all periods of Western drama including Greek, Medieval, Renaissance, Neoclassical, Early Modern European, Later Modern American and European, and Contemporary. For individuals interested in expanding their knowledge and critical understanding of dramatic performances, their histories and the important role of reviewers.