Hocus Pocus and the Croxton Play of the Sacrament
AbstractThis 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.
Contributors to Early Theatre retain full copyright to their content. All published authors are required to grant a limited exclusive license to the journal. According to the terms of this license, authors agree that for one year following publication in Early Theatre, they will not publish their submission elsewhere in the same form, in any language, without the consent of the journal, and without acknowledgment of its initial publication in the journal thereafter.