Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Title

Staging Sodomy: Deviance and Devotion on the Early English Stage

Date of Award

2012

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

M.A. in English

First Advisor

Mary Hayes

Second Advisor

Colby Kullman

Third Advisor

Gregory Heyworth

Abstract

This thesis is an examination of the multivalent category of sodomy in late medieval works of and about biblical drama: A Tretise of Miraclis Pleyinge, the York Joseph's Trouble About Mary and the N-Town Passion plays. Because the Tretise of Miraclis Pleyinge invokes charges of sodomy in its attack on biblical drama, this work argues that the medieval stage is particularly hospitable to exploring the queer moments of Christian theology. Focusing on the sodomitic relationships of Christ's life as they are revealed in York's Joseph's Trouble and the N-Town Passion sequences, this thesis argues that these plays problematize Christ's legendary hostile relationship to the sin against nature.

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