The N-Town Trials and the Image of the Community
Marginalis, Vol. 8, Cambridge Yearbook (2007-2008)
In his game theory V.A. Kolve argues that within the Corpus Christi cycles ‘the duration of the play is a momentary interval in, and abstention from, the real concerns of life’. However, the division between the play world and the world of its medieval audience is not necessarily so pronounced. The audience inhabit a cultural matrix of which the plays themselves form only a part, of Church iconography, sermons, and, of course, the Eucharist. The stage is not a window into a distant time or place, the figures depicted on it are recognisable presences in the life of the parish, and what is more, the themes enacted pertain to the ever-pertinent matters of salvation and damnation. Therefore reflections of contemporary practices and concerns will inevitably be identifiable in some instances.