Medieval Morality Plays Essay

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Medieval Morality Plays Throughout time, there have been many books, plays, songs, pamphlets, sermons, lectures, etc. written. These writings were all written with some kind of purpose to either inform, persuade, entertain, or teach their audience. One such form of literature not too widely known about is that of the medieval morality plays. These plays were not aimed to entertain, but to teach morals and religion to the uneducated lower classes of people in medieval Europe. The morality plays were also quite necessary to teach and inform the underclass people, through the thoughtful persuasion of play entertainment. Morality plays, as said above, were most popular and most widely present in medieval times. They were also found in…show more content…
(1). There were many other cases when the characters of the morality plays were not abstract qualities. These alternative roles were ones of angels, devils, priests, doctors, fools (found usually in English writings), etc. (1). The morality plays focused on the "hero" or main character, who’s flaws were pointed out through "diabolic forces", but the hero did have the option to choose redemption and take help from figures such as the four daughters of god. (1). One commonly used subject of the morality plays was that of the seven deadly sins. (1). The setup of the morality plays were actually quite simple. In the early development of the plays they did not have much technical structure to them. (Warren 2) Later on, they were usually played outdoors on moving "scaffolds" with the normal usage of props. (1). When morality plays were first introduced, the were often shown with miracle plays to get the audiences used to them and also to popularize them. (1). Until the later period of the morality plays, they were performed by amateur actors who relied wholly on public support. (Morality Play 1). When it comes to the plot aspect of morality plays, there were four main story lines. The majority of the morality play plots consisted of debates or conflicts. The three which did were the debate of heavenly graces, the debate of soul and body, and the conflict of vices and virtues.
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