Category Archives: drama

A Gest of Robyn Hode, a Robin Hood Folk Ballad

In 1560, William Copeland printed the fragments of the various Robin Hood folk dramas. The “plays” were likely performed by mummers and strolling players for a century or more before Copeland printed them. A Gest of Robyn Hode A Gest … Continue reading

Posted in ballads, British history, Canterbury tales, drama, literature, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Second Shepherds’ Play, England’s “First Comedy”

  The Wakefield mystery play cycle included The Second Shepherd’s Play. The author is unknown, but the play is commonly attributed to the Wakefield Master. This play dates from the latter half of the 15th Century. It is written in Middle … Continue reading

Posted in British history, drama, medieval | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

The Quem Quaeritis Trope, the Roots of Liturgical Drama

 The first Easter or Quem Quaeritis trope had its beginnings in the Benedictine Abbey of St. Gall, Switzerland. (The script of this first trope and an accompanying translation can be found below.) The Easter trope became the model for similar … Continue reading

Posted in acting, Church of England, customs and tradiitons, drama, medieval | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

An English Mystery Play: Abraham and Isaac, the Brome Non-Cycle Play

The sacrifice of Isaac is the basis for six extant Miracle plays. There is also the Coventry cycle of plays, where Isaac submits to his fate. In the Towneley Plays, which are part of the York cycle, Isaac is made … Continue reading

Posted in drama, literature, medieval, religion | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Roger Ascham, Serving Four Monarchs

 Born in Kirby Wiske (a village in the North Riding), Yorkshire, in 1515, Roger Ascham was the third son of John and Margaret Ascham. Ascham was the steward to Baron Scrope of Bolton. Roger Ascham was a scholar and didactic … Continue reading

Posted in British history, drama, Elizabethan drama, history, legacy, literature, Tudors | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Pre-Elizabethan Drama: The Interlude

 Pre-Elizabethan drama moved from miracle plays to morality plays to folk plays to interludes. Interludes were the last to develop. Initially, “interludes” were closed identified with morality plays, especially in subject matter.  Precursors to Elizabethan Drama summarizes the development from … Continue reading

Posted in British history, Chaucer, drama, Elizabethan drama, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Pre-Elizabethan Drama: Folk Plays

Folk drama is a remote form of oral literature. The early forms included dancers wearing masks portraying animal and human characters. Eventually, speeches and songs were added. The action and the dramatic imitation became the prominent part of these early … Continue reading

Posted in British history, drama, Great Britain, medieval, religion, theatre | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments