Hocus Pocus and the Croxton Play of the Sacrament

  • Cameron Hunt McNabb Southeastern University
Keywords: Croxton Play of the Sacrament, Hocus Pocus, Lollary, Jews, conversion


This article addresses how heresy and parody intersect in the Croxton Play of the Sacrament through its religiously and verbally dissenting characters. The play’s highly theatrical depiction of a host miracle both enforces and undermines its emphatic endorsement of the real presence. The play ameliorates this tension by the privileging of words over deeds, aligning the transformative power of the consecratory words with the transformative power of believers’ confessions at conversion wherein both words and actions enact a transubstantiation, thus manifesting the real presence of Christ. The play’s language becomes a moral marker and the vehicle for the heretics’ dissent (and descent) but also, when the Jews convert, the means of their reconciliation.

Author Biography

Cameron Hunt McNabb, Southeastern University
Cameron Hunt McNabb (cameronhuntmcnabb@gmail.com) is an assistant professor in the English department at Southeastern University. She has published in Neophilologus and Pedagogy and has reviewed numerous plays for journals such as the Shakespeare Bulletin. Her most recent work explores the intersections between medieval and early modern drama.