Play time

Gender, anti-Semitism and temporality in medieval biblical drama

By Daisy Black

Play time
Hardcover +
  • Price: £85.00
  • ISBN: 9781526146861
  • Publish Date: Oct 2020
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Buy Now

    eBook -
  • Price: £85.00
  • ISBN: 9781526146854
  • Publish Date: Nov 2020
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Buy Now

    Book Information


    This book presents an important re-theorisation of gender and anti-Semitism in medieval biblical drama. It charts conflicts staged between dramatic personae in plays that represent theological transitions, including the Incarnation, Flood, Nativity and Bethlehem slaughter. Interrogating the Christian preoccupation with what it asserted was a superseded Jewish past, it asks how models of supersession and typology are subverted when placed in dramatic dialogue with characters who experience time differently. The book employs theories of gender, performance, anti-Semitism, queer theory and periodisation to complicate readings of early theatre's biblical matriarchs and patriarchs. Dealing with frequently taught plays as well as less familiar material, the book is essential reading for specialist, undergraduate and postgraduate researchers working on medieval performance, gender and queer studies, Jewish-Christian studies and time.


    'This book was a pleasure to read. The writing is clear and accessible; the voice is engaging, with sections of lovely phrasing and surprising humour.'
    The Review of English Studies

    'Given Black's clear and accessible handling of theory, and the ways in which she embeds her argument in the critical history of each play she addresses, I look forward to assigning her work to my graduate students. Overall, Daisy Black's Play Time has much to offer scholars of early English drama and of literature and culture more broadly.'
    Studies in the Age of Chaucer

    'Given its focus on some of the greatest hits of the canon of early English drama and its fresh and insightful readings of familiar texts, Play Time will reward the attention of both scholars of medieval drama and those working in adjacent fields. Black demonstrates conclusively that multiple temporalities exist playfully side by side within medieval biblical drama and that the hegemony of Christian time is always under threat from history, which rarely is content to remain in the past.'
    The Medieval Review


    Introduction: what God was doing before he created the world
    1 The old man and the pregnant virgin: linear time and Jewish conversion in the N-Town plays
    2 Grave new world: fantasies of supersession and explosive questions in the York and Chester Flood plays
    3 Time out of joint: queering the Nativity in the Towneley Second Shepherds' Play
    4 Passion meets Passover: temporal origami in the Towneley Herod the Great
    5 Conclusion: the spectator's God's-eye view


    Daisy Black is Lecturer in English Literature at the University of Wolverhampton

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