The Pageant Wagon as Iconic Site in the <em>York Cycle</em>


  • Ralph Blasting Towson University



Theories of pageant-wagon dramaturgy have ranged from viewing the wagons purely as processional tableaux with no intention of mimetic performance to investing them with all the complexity of place-and-scaffold staging. This is especially true for the York Plays. The paper examines specific uses of the street as platea in the York Cycle, arguing that such use was limited specifically to its function as a contrast to the iconography of the wagon stage. Characters leave the wagon or approach it as a means of interrupting or re-establishing the iconic moment represented by that pageant. The dramatic effect on the audience derives from the disruption or reconfiguration of the stasis of the site.




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