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SACRED LIVING GENESIS CREATION PATTERN : HOLY MARY HORUS RA JESUS & THE SERPENT

Cox's work tacitly challenges two other assumptions: Cox, too, sees stage devils as oppositional but not as evolving from sacred to secular. Instead, he argues that devils remained "a way of imagining how and why the sacred needed to function redemptively in the life of the individual and the community" 2.

The Devil and the Sacred in English Drama, 1350–1642

The first four chapters examine pre-Reformation stage devils as they "reveal communal values by default, illustrating often satirically what fifteenth-century English society saw as most destructive of its sacral cohesion" Chapter 1 focuses on the oppositional relationship between devils and that which the community defines as good, a relationship that had been continuously staged in early English drama from the mid-fourteenth-century York [End Page ] Cycle pageants to the close of the theaters. As Cox notes, the dramatic longevity of devils "has neither been noticed nor explained in the critical record" 5 , an omission that becomes even more startling in the face of this book's abundant evidence.

His conceptual explication of that longevity later in the book is compelling, but less so is a pragmatic foray in which he speculates that devils endured in part because "costumes and the materials for assembling them remained the same" 5. Scant evidence for devils' costumes survives; extant images in religious art go far beyond black feathers or fur; and of all actors' costumes, one might guess that devils' took a considerable beating in performance.

Chapter 2 is devoted to the mystery plays, chapter 3 to the noncycle plays, and chapter 4 to early social satire.

Project MUSE - The Devil and the Sacred in English Drama, (review)

Essentially, Cox sees their focus on the "betrayal, rigged trial, beating, torture, and execution of their principal character, who is a landless peasant" 30 as political; and his argument is persuasive. Thus Lucifer's rebellion is a palace revolt, his colleagues or followers are almost always the socially privileged, and "the demonic destruction of community occurs in repeating the sin of Lucifer—that is, in abuses of power by the powerful" The oppositions that the cycle plays explore—"gratitude and self-congratulation, communal solidarity and individualism, humility and pride, love and hate, trust and mistrust" 21 —hold as well for the noncycle plays, Cox contends.

In contrast to Bevington's evolutionary view If you would like to authenticate using a different subscribed institution that supports Shibboleth authentication or have your own login and password to Project MUSE, click 'Authenticate'. View freely available titles: Book titles OR Journal titles.

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The devil and the sacred in English drama, 1350-1642

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