© 2018

Representations of the Body in Middle English Biblical Drama


Part of the The New Middle Ages book series (TNMA)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xviii
  2. Skeletons in the Closet of Religious Dramas

  3. Travestied Social Dramas

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 233-233
    2. Estella Ciobanu
      Pages 265-302
    3. Estella Ciobanu
      Pages 303-317
  4. Back Matter
    Pages 319-337

About this book


Representations of the Body in Middle English Biblical Drama combines epistemological enquiry, gender theory and Foucauldian concepts to investigate the body as a useful site for studying power, knowledge and truth. Intertwining the conceptualizations of violence and the performativity of gender identity and roles, Estella Ciobanu argues that studying violence in drama affords insights into the cultural and social aspects of the later Middle Ages. The text investigates these biblical plays through the perspective of the devil and offers a unique lens that exposes medieval disquiets about Christian teachings and the discourse of power. Through detailed primary source analysis and multidisciplinary scholarship, Ciobanu constructs a text that interrogates the significance of performance far beyond the stage.  


Middle English biblical drama body of argument gender identity in medieval England performativity of gender power and knowledge interplay drama medieval Catholicism medieval religion medieval plays and performances violence in medieval theater the body in medieval theater

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Ovidius UniversityConstanţaRomania

About the authors

Estella Ciobanu is Associate Professor of English at Ovidius University of Constanţa, Romania. Her academic interests include iconization studies and gendered representations of the body in anatomo-medical practices and the arts. She has authored The Spectacle of the Body in Late Medieval England (2012) and The Body Spectacular in Middle English Theatre (2013).

Bibliographic information


“Encouraging those who work in the domain to take a renewed perspective on the many forms of subjugation that these plays rehearse gives much food for thought as to how to tackle the parts of biblical drama that should cause critical discomfort. In this regard, it is a most welcome contribution to early drama studies.” (Sarah Brazil, Speculum, Vol. 95 (1), January, 2020)