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A. C. Cawley (1913–1993)

Forfatter af Everyman and Medieval Miracle Plays

6+ Værker 1,067 Medlemmer 4 Anmeldelser

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Værker af A. C. Cawley

Associated Works

Canterbury Fortællinger (1380) — Redaktør, nogle udgaver22,139 eksemplarer
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight / Pearl / Cleanness / Patience (1300) — Redaktør, nogle udgaver; Redaktør, nogle udgaver576 eksemplarer
Everyman (1925) — Redaktør, nogle udgaver183 eksemplarer
A Yorkshire Tragedy (1973) — Redaktør, nogle udgaver16 eksemplarer
Pearl and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (1656) — Oversætter, nogle udgaver15 eksemplarer
Pearl Cleanness & Sir Gawain (Everyman's Classics) (1656) — Redaktør, nogle udgaver7 eksemplarer

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This was a good collection! Admittedly, I don’t know what a bad collection of medieval plays would look like, or the quality of the plays that aren’t included, but I still found this to be a pretty comprehensive selection, especially as an introduction to the genre. Which this wasn’t for me, because I am a nerd and read at least a couple of this in university for fun, but whatever. I have had a medieval Thing for a long time.

Anyhow, there are a range of plays from a range of cycles in this book, each taking on a Christian story in rhyming verse with a small number of actors. There’s a little bit of historical context, and some glossing for the more difficult medieval and/or Northern English words, but beyond that, all you really get is the plays themselves. The verse styles they’re written in are pretty varied, which each playwright clearly having his own voice. The guy whose meter and rhyme were all over the place so that the play basically read as free verse was my favourite, I think.

And the playwrights could tell a good story. A lot of the speeches read as kind of didactic and heavy-handed today (‘twas the genre and the era, after all) but they’re still pretty engaging and I can easily picture amateur over-actors speaking the lines. It suits that style very well. And, because this is the Middle Ages, there’s also a fair bit of broad humour and slices of medieval life thrown in, like the shepherd who steals a sheep and hides it in a crib, then gets thrashed by his colleagues when discovered. It definitely makes the stories a bit different and more amusing, and being able to read the plays today provides a nice window into medieval worldviews and tastes.

The only thing I really wish had been better was some of the commentary. I’d have liked a bit more annotation beyond the glosses and more information on each play and its players than the few paragraphs we get. (Mostly I think this is an artifact of reading an older version of this collection; we’ve learned a lot in the last 70 years and I think a newer edition would have different info.)

Really, that’s about all I can say. I enjoyed the read and, as I’ve said, found it pretty interesting from a socio-historical perspective. If you’re interested in the topic, I’d certainly recommend!

Contains: A lot of Christian content, and an equally large amount of Middle English. If you don’t like your Bible stories mixed with broad comedy, this may not be for you. The rhythms of the poetry might get stuck in your head.
… (mere)
NinjaMuse | 2 andre anmeldelser | Jul 26, 2020 |
Who knew medieval English drama was such fun to read? I didn't, until I had to buy this delightful paperback book for a graduate seminar a few years back. Honestly, I think about this book more often than I ever imagined I would. I thought about it just the other day when I ran into the woman who loved, completely loved, the King Arthur legends: well, I had suggested she watch Monty Python and the Holy Grail, and while she had been a wee bit hesitant when I explained the siege and catapults, she had agreed to do so. It turned out she loved, completely loved, the quest for the grail and we laughed heartily about the galloping and the indestructible Black Knight. This wonderful cycle of old plays (6-7 centuries ago. . .) is rendered in Modern English, but for non-specialists like me, that fact alone allows me to enjoy these dramas from a different place and time, and to marvel at the common threads that remain.… (mere)
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SheWoreRedShoes | 2 andre anmeldelser | May 11, 2010 |
SrMaryLea | 2 andre anmeldelser | Aug 22, 2023 |
Budzul | May 31, 2008 |


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