Tag Archives: Middle English lyric

Fabricating Lyric in Middle English Drama

The relationship between religious lyric and religious drama in medieval England is a close one.  Dramatic speeches of welcome and salutation (with each line beginning ‘hail…’ or ‘welcome’) are very similar in structure to surviving lyrics, often drawing on the same liturgy.  Research by George C Taylor has carefully explored the overlap in form and content between lyric and drama, and Lu Emily Pearson and Richard Osberg have also drawn attention to passages within plays which can be isolated as lyrics.  I’m interested not only in lyrics that you can isolate, but also moments in drama which draw on shared awareness of lyric form.  Here’s a post on one example in the N-town cycle, and next week a similar example from John Skelton’s early Tudor play, Magnificence.

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