The Delightful Interlude of Medieval and Tudor Drama: 20 Resources

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An interlude was typically a short dramatic piece, often comic (usually farcical) in nature, placed between more serious material, then later between courses at a banquet. It began during the Middle Ages as a form of lighthearted stuffing (hence interlude) between miracle and morality plays. These were typically short satires or farces. There is even evidence of interludes being used as propaganda in times of religious conflict. There is also proof of interludes functioning as morality plays. The form matured into witty performances enacted at Court during the Tudor period, entertaining royalty and courtiers, alike. John Heywood’s The Four P’s (c.1543) is a typical example of an interlude. – Justin Cash

Interlude Resources

Excellent analysis of the interlude in Medieval drama.

Entry on the interlude and its characteristics from Encylopedia Britannica.

Short, but useful explanation of this form during the Medieval and Elizabethan periods.

Very handy entry on the interlude discusses its lack of distinction with morality plays, dramatic form, performance and purpose.

Very good historical account of the origins and growth of the interlude (slides 25 and 26).

A useful explanation of the interlude in Medieval England.

Jonathon Heywood’s Medieval interlude “The Four Ps”.

A concise definition of the interlude from Oxford Reference.

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