Anonymous: The Digby Play of the Mary Magdalene

(1322 words)
  • Claire Sponsler (University of Iowa )

The Digby Mary Magdalene is preserved in Bodleian MS Digby 133, which contains other plays – including the Digby Conversion of Saint Paul – as well as various scientific and astrological texts. Like the Conversion of St Paul, Mary Magdalene fits within the genre of medieval saints' plays. Its dominant theme is conversion, which it examines through the biblical and legendary figure of Mary Magdalene, whose story of temptation, fall into sin, and ultimate sainthood, makes her a powerful figure of redemption. The play was composed sometime in the late fifteenth century in the East Midland dialect of Middle English. The scribe-compiler of the manuscript is unknown, but in the mid-sixteenth century it was owned by M…

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Sponsler, Claire. "The Digby Play of the Mary Magdalene". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 09 December 2004
[, accessed 30 June 2015.]