Craftsmanship of the Digby Mary Magdalene play
Sheridan, John F.
Master of Arts, University of Ottawa, (1969)
Denigrated by nineteenth century criticism, the medieval drama is gradually coming into proper critical light. Though critics like Salter and Prosser have successfully argued for the cycles as serious drama, one medieval play, the Digby Mary Magdalene, still needs to be seriously considered: so far it has generally been looked on as a poor mixture of mystery, miracle, and morality play.From the point of view of staging, plot, and especially diction, it has generally been regarded as a wild, unmanageable work. It is our view, on the contrary,that this play is the creation of a craftsman of considerable talent. And the purpose of this study is to examine the text of the Digby Mary Magdalene play in order to show that the critics have generally overlooked or misunderstood its conventions, meaning, and purpose. This study will test its craftsmanship on three essential points: staging, unity of plot, and dramatic diction.