Reforming sanctity
The Digby Mary Magdalen and Lewis Wager’s Life and Repentaunce of Marie Magdalene
in Sanctity as literature in late medieval Britain
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The Digby Mary Magdalen and Lewis Wager’s early modern Life and Repentaunce of Marie Magdalene dramatise the saint’s holiness to different ends: which episodes are dramatised, and how, differs considerably, revealing the extent to which Mary’s sanctity is constructed to reflect the confessional positions of playwrights in pre- and post-Reformation England. While the Digby play deploys spectacle as a strategy of underscoring holiness, Wager uses the saint’s conversion in order to reject spectacle in favour of a focus on scripture alone.

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