The Circulation of Power in Medieval Biblical Drama

Theaters of Authority

Medieval drama based on the Bible commonly directs its audiences toward a Christian interpretation, but equally interesting, and less frequently investigated by scholars, are the plays' modes of resistance to Christian authority. Through a reading informed by the recent temporal turn in queer theory, Robert S. Sturges revitalizes discussions of medieval drama by focusing on how these plays depict the dissemination of power throughout medieval culture. As Sturges shows, power and ultimately resistance were typically enacted through the human body, objects, gender, politics, economics, law and theater itself, as well as religion. Through these nuanced readings, medieval Biblical drama emerges as more relevant to modern, secular, and multicultural audiences.


Robert Surges is a professor of English at the Department of English at Arizona State University.

Praise for this book

In 'The Circulation of Power in Medieval Biblical Drama,' Robert S. Sturges overturns longstanding assumptions about the interpretive docility of medieval drama, proving its queer (and queering) potential in a series of stunningly original readings. Plays I thought I knew, from Quem quaeritis to the Wakefield Master's Second Shepherds', have never looked fresher.

Tison Pugh Professor of English, University of Central Florida, USA
Cover of The Circulation of Power in Medieval Biblical Drama: Theaters of Authority
Date published
Palgrave Macmillan

Get this book

Library catalog link