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The construction of the Wakefield cycle by…

The construction of the Wakefield cycle

by John Gardner

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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0809306689, Hardcover)

In this contribution to his Literary Structures series, John Gardner analyzes the Wakefield Corpus Christi play and provides a point of departure for a new aesthetic and historical study of the medieval pageant cycle.


Presenting a close play-by-play analysis of the Wakefield cycle as a whole, this important new study points out brilliant dramatic devices and jokes not immediately apparent to the modern eye. Gardner thus shows the controlling alle­gorical scheme which organizes the entire work from Creation to Last Judgment. He emphasizes the humor, social criticism, randy language, and characteristic stanza found throughout the plays and demon­strates that this coherence of technique indicates the cycle was shaped by a single man—the Wakefield Master.


Because it dramatizes the theme of sal­vation so coherently and powerfully, Gardner concludes that the Wakefield Corpus Christi play is one of the most ambitious and impressive literary works ever wrought by Englishmen.


Like other works in this distinguished new series, this innovative and practical book focuses on a great early writer and a major work which has not been adequately understood because its premises have been foreign to modern readers.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:21 -0400)

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