Play 33, Harrowing of Hell (1)
PLAY 33, HARROWING OF HELL (1): FOOTNOTELine 24, s.d.: Lift up your gates, you princes, and be lifted up, O eternal gates, and the King of Glory shall enter in (compare Vulgate Psalm 23:7)
PLAY 33, HARROWING OF HELL (1): EXPLANATORY NOTES
Abbreviations: PP: Passion Play, ed. Meredith (1990); S: N-Town Play, ed. Spector (1991).
This play is written in tail-rhymed octaves.
1, s.n. ANIMA CHRISTI “Soul of Christ." Note that while Jesus is in hell, he is Anima Christi. At the Resurrection, beginning line 1434, the speaker’s name becomes “Jhesus" once again.
1 ff. As with the split Last Supper scenes (27.141–571), the twin Harrowing of Hell scenes suggest simultaneity. While Anima Christi is clearing out hell, Jesus’ body is buried and Pilate’s guard stands watch over the sepulcher. Meredith and Spector cite the source of this scene as the Gospel of Nicodemus (PP, pp. 212– 13n993ff.; S 2:516).
24, s.d. Vulgate Psalm 23:7, part of the collect for Palm Sunday, loosely translated in lines 25–28.
25 Ondothe youre gatys. The undo the door trope common in romances (see The Squire of Low Degree).
25 ff. Meredith and Spector cite Northern Passion as a major source for this section (PP, p. 214n1101–02; S 2:520).
PLAY 33, HARROWING OF HELL (1): TEXTUAL NOTESAbbreviations: See Explanatory Notes, above
18 certayn. MS: e erased over y.
24, s.d. MS: in the left margin is written Nota anima latronis (“Note: soul of thief.") in the hand of a reviser for a later performance (S 2:520; PP, pp. 213n1016sd, 252–53). Red versus mark appears before Latin lines.
After 48 MS: no break between plays.
[The sowle goth to helle gatys (gates) and seyth: “Attolite portas, principes vestras, et eleuamini porte eternales, et introibit Rex Glorie.” 1
|(see note); (t-note)|
Go To Play 34, Burial; Guarding of the Sepulcher