Wakefield Master

Definition

Theater

  • The unidentified author of the five extant mystery playsof the 32 in the early 15th-century Wakefield Cycle, performed atWakefield, Yorkshire; they are also known as the Towneley Cycle. Theworks attributed to the Wakefield Master are Processus Noe cumFiliis (The pageant of Noah and his Sons), Pagina Pastorum(The Shepherds' Play), Secunda Pastorum (The SecondShepherds' Play), Magnus Herodes (Herod the Great),and Coliphizacio (About the High Priest Caiaphas).

    The plays are all written in the nine-line stanza used onlyin the Wakefield Cycle (other cycles use a 13-line stanza). The languageis colloquial. Despite the biblical subject matter, humour and farceboth feature strongly; the Wakefield Master is considered to be oneof the wittiest and most accomplished of the authors of mystery plays.

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