Anonymous: Chester Cycle of the Mystery Plays

(1191 words)
  • Claire Sponsler (University of Iowa )

Like the other three extant English biblical cycles – York, N-Town, and Towneley-Wakefield – the Chester cycle is one of the most important cultural achievements of late medieval England. Also like them, the Chester cycle consists of a series of short plays that together stage biblical history from the Fall to Doomsday and that, at least at first, were performed processionally in connection with the feast of Corpus Christi by the craft guilds and companies of the city. Despite these resemblances, however, the Chester cycle differs in a number of ways from the other cycles, raising intriguing questions about its textual and performance history.

As with the York cycle, a good deal of information about the history of the …

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Sponsler, Claire. "Chester Cycle of the Mystery Plays". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 21 March 2002
[, accessed 30 September 2016.]