Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts




It is important to remember that the categories of medieval performance were established far removed from their period in history. As a genre, the morality play includes a wide diversity of time, geography, content and performance styles. Such disparities have made it difficult to develop a comprehensive definition, without which comparisons between works cannot be consistent. As scholarship continues to explore these works in context of their performance, it becomes increasingly important to identify which performance styles best inform their production. In examining The Castle of Perseverance within the parameters of pas d’armes, new meanings can be drawn from its text. Instead of simply incorporating the conventions of tournament staging, the play exposes the faults of the secular societies they were intended to promote. Currently it is impossible to determine definitely that The Castle of Perseverance was intended to be a subversion of the pas d’armes. There is no identified author or even record of a single performance in medieval times. Yet the circumstantial evidence within the text supports the theory of subversion. Further research is still needed on the performance of The Castle of Perseverance within the appropriate historical context in order to better understand its place within the larger canon of medieval drama.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

August 2008