jour du jugement
Jour du jugement felt like the first proper play that I had read from the medieval period partly for its length and partly for its plot. It tells the story of the Antichrist and the final days of humanity. This is the only medieval play representing the final days, and it does so in great detail. We see the conception and birth of the Antichrist, and its growth as an adolescent brought up by devils. The play boasts 93 characters, and one must imagine that the production would have been an undertaking that employed a significant portion of a town's population. As such, when reading, I found myself thinking about the amateur actors who would have been performing these roles. It seems clear to me that the preacher would play himself, but who would play God? Or the Antichrist? How were such roles decided? There were indeed directors, or pageant masters, who oversaw medieval productions, but with a play of this breadth, such a task would have been an undertaking on the scale of modern broadway productions. This play could not have been performed more than once a year or so, and exclusively by amateurs. It is on a completely different level than a farce like Le Garçon et l'Aveugle.
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M.A. French Literature Florida State University