Judas Iscariot: a vehicle of medieval didacticism

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Publication Type dissertation
School or College College of Humanities
Department Languages
Author Kahn, Jeffrey
Title Judas Iscariot: a vehicle of medieval didacticism
Date 1976
Description The role of Judas Iscariot in the French Passion plays of the f1iddle Ages shows itself to be of particular interest, not only because of the possible interpretations offered by this figure of semi-darkness, but also because some authors of fifteenth-century Mystery plays inserted a very curious legend, similar to the story of Oedipus, which gives a heretofor unrevealed aspect to the character of the apostleo The role of Judas is studied in the seven French Passion plays ranging from the beginnin of the fourteenth to the end of the fifteenth century the Passion du Palatinu, the Passion d'Autun, the Passion Sainte-Genevieve, the Passion de Semur, the Passion d'Arras, the Mystere de 1a Pas.§ion of Ar-n ou L Greban, and the Myster'e de la Passioq of Jean f1ichelo I have divided my analysis of Judas into three main parts, each one emphasizing for a definite didactic purpose a different aspect of the apostle's charactero For each of the three parts there is an introduction showing the needs of the public and placing each play in its historical settingo The plays of the first part are a dramatized paraphrased version of the Bible, portraying Judas as a kind of anti-Christ, with his main characteristic being hatred. In the second part, devoted to the Passion d'Arras, we find a dramatized "morality" satirizing the merchant class. Here the apostle's main characteristics are deceit and avarice. He is the personification of greedo The third part, dealing with the fusion of Oedipodean traits in the legend of Judas, is a dramatized "exemplum condeming incest as the root of evilo As part of my conclusion, I have examined Judas in a contemporary play, Judas by Marcel Pagnol, in order to give some idea of the evolution of thought as it relates to the man anc. his crimeo In Pagnol's play Judas reaches the essence of his beingo His pride crushed, he finally gains insight into the nature of his own being and his place on earth. In studying the characterizations of Judas in the various plays I have tried to show that many of the similarities of phrase, arrangement, and general development arise from the fact that the same texts often served as the basis for the representations given in different communities. These texts were at various times subjected to revision, and it is the successive alterations made upon them which have in many cases concealed their original connectionso In considering each play, I have tried to envisage the dramatic execution, at least as much as can be derived from the specific part of Judas in the text. But it is above all the psychology of the traitor which has interested me, and I have tried to draw from it Judas' essential as well as secondary traits to show with what ingenuity the authors described the betrayal and the betrayer.
Type Text
Publisher University of Utah
Dissertation Name Doctor of Philosophy
Language eng
Rights Management (c)Jeffrey Kahn
Format Medium application/pdf
ARK ark:/87278/s6nk8009
Setname ir_etd
Date Created 2019-08-02
Date Modified 2019-08-05
ID 1433716
Reference URL
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