Appeared in Vol. 3 No. 2

Literature reveals much about the cultum res from which it grows, especially, perhaps, when the authors purport to depict life in a realistic manner. In the penetrating study which follows, John H. Cleland examines the dramatic realism of two plays from the medieval and modern eras in an effort to show something of the different value systems by which men may govern their activities. The result of Cleland’s analysis is an arresting contrast between the secular, relativistic values at work in the modern play and the religious values operative in its fourteenth century counterpart. The contrast outlined by the author stems directly from the speci c resolutions of universal problems presented to the reader by both playwrights. The differences thus revealed are both civilizational and philosophical in scope, and so constitute an incisive commentary on life in any age.

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