IMC 2003: Sessions

Session 323: The Language of Abuse and Authority in the Mystery Plays

Monday 14 July 2003, 16.30-18.00

Sponsor:Department of English, Universidad de Santiago de Compostela
Moderator/Chair:John S. McKinnell, Centre for Medieval & Renaissance Studies
Respondent:John S. McKinnell, Centre for Medieval & Renaissance Studies
Paper 323-aThe Language of Abuse and Authority in the Chester Cycle
(Language: English)
Begoña Crespo-Garcia, Department of English, Universidad de La Coruña
Index terms: Language and Literature - Middle English
Paper 323-bLanguage of Treason and Punishment in the York Cycle
(Language: English)
Cristina Mourón-Figueroa, Departamento de Filoloxía Inglesa e Alemá, Universidade de Santiago de Compostela
Index terms: Language and Literature - Middle English
Abstract

The Mystery Plays were enacted by craftsmen, artisans, peasants, shepherds, and attended basically by a lay and illiterate audience. So oral performance was put to an essentially festive and popular end. Such vigour and vivacity might lead us to believe that the language of abuse and authority used in the plays reflected on the whole the colloquial speech of the working class. Expletives and insults are analysed in their own context.