Definition of mystery play in English:

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mystery play


A popular medieval play based on biblical stories or the lives of the saints. Also called miracle play.
Example sentences
  • Local school pupils will entertain the crowds, an Irish dance troupe will demonstrate traditional steps and a storyteller will present a mystery play.
  • It's not a great mystery play, it's not the best of hers, but it is a very solid one.
  • In the later medieval period mystery plays were one popular form in which Gospel stories (particularly, but not exclusively, Passion stories) were told.

Mystery plays were performed by members of trade guilds in Europe from the 13th century, in churches or later on wagons or temporary stages along a route, frequently introducing apocryphal and satirical elements. Several cycles of plays survive in association with particular English cities and towns.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: mys|tery play

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