Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Nicole Guenther Discenza, Ph.D.


Castle of perseverance, Mankind, Wisdom, Everyman, Medieval drama


The Book of Job was extremely popular in the Middle Ages, especially in England, because of its role in liturgy as well as lay religious devotion. I argue that the Book of Job was heavily influential in the writing of the medieval morality plays Castle of Perseverance, Mankind, Wisdom, and Everyman. In the plays, the dramatists mirrored many of Job's structural and artistic elements, creating direct parallels between the Biblical text and the morality plays. The authors also relied on Job's ideological framework to establish their own arguments, forming not only a textual but ideological linkage. Yet the most intriguing connection between Job and the morality plays is their function within the medieval religious context; the Hebrew Book of Job is used as a model for the Christian morality plays. By examining the role of Job in medieval England, I demonstrate how the figure of Job can be used as a Christian rather Jewish model. The influence of the Book of Job is central to the morality plays' structures, artistic techniques, and ideological arguments. I argue that, as other Scriptural books acted as patterns for the medieval cycle and mystery plays, the Book of Job stood as a pattern for the medieval morality plays.