Corpus Christi, Superstar?: Decoding the Enigma of the York Mystery Cycle
AbstractThis paper outlines the history and cultural significance of the medieval York Mystery cycle. I argue that guild (sponsor) involvement in the pageants served a multitude of purposes: they not only acted as a form of advertisement for the goods the guild created but also fostered community goodwill and acted as a form of charity, serving as meaningful acts toward moral salvation. Furthermore, I also intend to look at the role of the audience: by attending the plays, the audience received a moral benefit through their roles of spectators and the experience of viewing, which I explore through the medieval understanding of the act of “seeing.” As opportunity to effect bodily change, the audience could, in effect, experience the act of Holy Communion through merely watching the pageant and viewing the Body of Christ.
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