The Macro Plays

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Macro manuscripts: Three morality plays,
Wisdom (ca.1475);
Mankind (ca.1475);
The Castle of Perseverance(ca.1440)
Folger MS V.a.354

Without this humble manuscript, we would know little about the once flourishing genre of English morality plays, for it contains the full texts of three of the four surviving morality plays written in English before 1500. The last page of The Castle of Perseverance, shown here, provides the earliest known stage diagram for an English play. The bottom right corner of the last page of Wisdom contains the ownership statement of the monk Thomas Hyngham, which in English reads: "O book, if anyone should . . . ask to whom you belong, you shall say, I belong above all to monk Hyngham."

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This page updated June 27, 2002