York Mystery Plays Background

York Mystery Plays Background

The York Mystery Plays are a collection of 48 mystery plays and pageants that cover history from a religious standpoint, starting from the creation and ending with the Last judgment. These plays are typically presented on the feast day of Corpus Christi, which is a feast that happens on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday. The more proper name would be the York Corpus Christi Plays, as they are performed during Corpus Christi and in the city of York. These plays did not have an author to go with them, and there is no record of when it was first performed, but they are one of the four complete English mystery play cycles that have survived until now.

The York Mystery Plays were performed on pageant wagons, which were commonly used in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, when they were performed. They were organized and performed by the York Craft Guilds, which helped finance the performance of these plays. These wagons would stop twelve times for the plays to be performed twelve times in the city of York. The York Mystery Plays use various rhyming verse forms and a lot of alliteration in the lines. The topics of these 48 plays all came from the Old and New Testaments in the Bible, and were still performed after the Protestant Reformation, but were eventually repressed completely in 1569 because of its religious topics.

Update this section!

You can help us out by revising, improving and updating this section.

Update this section

After you claim a section you’ll have 24 hours to send in a draft. An editor will review the submission and either publish your submission or provide feedback.