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October 06, 2005

Fatal Irony

Anonymous, York Corpus Christi Plays -- Drama as Literature (EL 250)

My sholder's out of joint
My pain is far too great.

This play show so much irony. It's amazing how the whole time they never realize who they're crucifying. They keep referring to Jesus as a fool, they called him a traitor, and they said that he'd die because of sin. Well they were right but totally wrong at the same time. He was a fool for not following the worldly rules, he was a traitor because he loved God more than other people, and he did die because of sin, their sin. They were mocking the one who was saving them.

I think that this was really what it was like during that time. People probably didn't know Jesus that well, he looked like a common man. They probably did see him as some evil person who committed a crime.

The other ironic part was when the soldier said that his sholder was out of joint and the "pain is far too great." Yet they're nailing someone's hands to a cross! Imagine the pain that Jesus is taking. It's amazing how much people look out for themselves and I think that this play really shows how ignorant we can be, and how we can take things for granted as humans.

Posted by AndrewLoNigro at October 6, 2005 08:40 AM


You've hit on part of the power of didactic drama -- that is, drama that teaches. The contrast between the griping of the Roman soldiers and the dignified suffering of Jesus creates a tension that can be really gripping.

Posted by: Dennis G. Jerz at October 6, 2005 11:24 AM

Now that you mention it, it is a very good way to teach. Especially since many probably couldn't read. So they wouldn't get to learn from the bible. Maybe this was an alternate way to teach the public about what Jesus's life?

It seems like it also comes down to what Kevin pointed out about Everyman. It was a kind of scare tactic. They'd scare readers into accepting Jesus.

Posted by: Andy Lonigro at October 6, 2005 12:29 PM

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