Spectatorship and Vision in The York Corpus Christi Plays
- Comitatus: A Journal of Medieval and Renaissance Studies
- University of California, Los Angeles, Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies
- Volume 45, 2014
- pp. 169-189
- Additional Information
In The York Corpus Christi Plays, Christ calls upon spectators to look at his body in a devotional gaze, one that demands sympathy for his sufferings. This article examines how medieval notions of vision inform our understanding of what it means to participate in a Passion narrative through the vehicle of sight. In The York Plays, the character Christ compels the spectator to look at him, to recall the sacrifice he made and, through performance, is continuously making. This synchronicity suggests different avenues for studying medieval devotional performance; these images and bodies of Christ are not static but rather fluid, and thus serve as cues to the importance of remembering and seeing Christ internally, beyond the performance.