As anyone remotely familiar with the rich oeuvre of English theatre that stretches from the Wakefield Master
to Neil Bartlett will attest, the medium retains a persistent subversive streak.
They include the notions of text and variant in the Prologue to Chaucer's Legend of Good Women, myths of the Wakefield Master
, two studies in bibliographical identification and identity, and Leander van Ess and the panzerization of early books and history.
The Wakefield Master
enjoys particular attention, and Happe extends his influence to a full third of the overall manuscript.
The Preaching Fox: Festive Subversion in the Plays of the Wakefield Master.
The latest contribution to the study of works generally attributed to the fifteenthcentury British playwright known as the Wakefield Master, Professor Warren Edminster's The Preaching Fox offers a new and challenging examination of the many ways in which the famous "play-doctor" transforms the conventional biblical subject matter of his Corpus Christi drama into caustic satires of the corruption plaguing the Church and secular authority in contemporary late-medieval England.
By placing criticism of the Church within the context of a conflict between a husband and his shrewish wife," Edminster concludes, "the Wakefield Master lowers this serious (and dangerous) indictment of corruption into the festive realm of ridicule and innuendo.
Rather, it is introduced as a means, Edminster argues, by which the Wakefield Master symbolically links the three actual shepherds with the clergy.
Picketing); The Siege of Jerusalem (David Lawton); St Erkenwald (John Burrow); later Middle English religious lyrics Julia Boffey); The Castle of Perseverance (Avril Henry); the plays of the Wakefield Master
(Myra Stokes); the N-Town Mary Play (Peter Meredith).
Because of its superior documentation, I will take a fairly close look at it, but I will of course consider the work of the Wakefield Master and Mankind as well.
He suspects that the Wakefield Master showed that combination of author and stage director which is essential for his thesis.
As the available concordances show, (18) the Wakefield Master is also the only medieval English dramatist to use the words "laugh" or "laughter" with any frequency.
And it is part of a highly differentiated virtuoso game which the Wakefield Master plays more than once and in which he exploits the boundary between the two spheres for dramatic and comic effect.