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Title: The Passion group in the York Cycle : studies in metre, text and literary and Biblical relationships
Author: Williams, Carole
ISNI:       0000 0004 5995 9937
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: Royal Holloway, University of London
Date of Award: 1977
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This study of Plays 26-36 of the York Cycle (The Conspiracy to the Death and Burial) establishes the following: 1. These dramatisations adhere closely to the Gospel accounts of Christ's Passion; additionally there is distinct evidence in some plays of dependence upon other works. In the case of one poem, The Northern Passion, this is found to be less than had been previously claimed. These materials have been interpreted and shaped into dramatic form, often reworking an earlier version of the same subject, with such modifications and additions as are described. 2. The only surviving manuscript is a compilation made 1430-40 of plays with different textual histories. Some are unmodified, complete compositions, in some cases replacing earlier plays; yet others, far from indicating a poet's preference for experimentation with different metres and stanza forms as has been previously supposed, are a patchwork of modification, interpolation and revision. 3. Certain plays display the distinctive metrical features of alliterative poetry as defined, particularly that form in rhyming stanzas which flourished in the North of England from c.1350. Thus the plays continue and also modify certain Old English metrical practices. The number and distribution of the unstressed syllables in the line is not completely undetermined as has been sometimes maintained, but is fixed in a high proportion of lines in rhythmical types of different syntactical structure. 4. Other plays present very different metrical features, the line having a fixed number of syllables and a basically iambic rhythm; two plays have such similar metrical characteristics as to be the work of the same author. One play successfully combines elements of both metrical styles. 5. There is no evidence in these plays that the York and Towneley cycles were at one time identical, as has been claimed, although in certain cases (notably Play 34) Towneley clearly depends upon York.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Religion