Humour, pathos and suffering, and the culminating drama of the Crucifixion and Resurrection, give these plays a wonderful immediacy. Their action was conceived on a cosmic scale and all the enthusiasm and vitality of their writing is retained to this day. The energies of whole communities, notably at Chester, York and Wakefield, were devoted to their production and they were to influence later dramatists significantly. The grand design of the mystery plays was to celebrate the Christian story from 'The Fall of Lucifer' to the 'Judgement Day', and this volume contains thirty-eight plays, forming in itself a composite cycle and including almost all the incidents common to the extant cycles.
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