Coded Cohesion from Sin to Salvation: Narratology and Structuralism in the Plays of the Wakefield Master
. Jessica Bigelow, Alma College
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.
On manuscripts, Dane includes essays that consider: the number of possible editions of Everyman; Gg.4.27's version of "The Prologue to Chaucer's Legend of Good Women"; issues relating to the staging of medieval dramas including La Seinte Resureccion, Le Jeu de Robin et Marion and Le Jeu du Pelerin; and the existence of the Wakefield Master
. The second part of the collection considers: facsimile editions; the differences between individual copies of early printed books; Colard Mansion's 1476 edition of Boccaccio's De Casibus; the works of Caxton the printer and Caxton the writer; and the book collection of Leander van Ess.
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 Towneley plays, one of the four cycles of medieval English drama, are linked with Wakefield and have contributions by an unknown 'Wakefield Master
Alexandra Johnston takes us into the fifteenth-century world of the great Wakefield Master
, and explains who his patrons may have been, agreeing with Lawrence Clopper's recent book, that the Master was "a writer of plays rather than the creator of a cycle" (p.
The Preaching Fox: Festive Subversion in the Plays of the Wakefield Master
. New York: Routledge, 2005.
The Wakefield Master
's Dramatic Art: A Drama of Spiritual Understanding.
In an essay entitled 'Masters and Servants in the Plays of the Wakefield Master
', Myra Stokes dissents from readings that postulate social protest or dissent in these plays, arguing that the playwright's style is characterized by the resolution of tension.
Stokes's essay on the Wakefield Master
is particularly evocative in capturing 'the bite and intensity' of the way in which he portrays the 'human antagonisms' within certain social relationships.
In particular, the work of a talented reviser, known as the Wakefield Master
, is easily recognizable for its brilliant handling of meter, language, and rhyme, and for its wit and satire.