• Elizabeth E. Tavares deposited Mankind on MLA Commons 1 week, 6 days ago

    It was a battle with temptation from the moment we stepped in the door. The smell of roast meat and potatoes greeted the guests upon entering the open, glassed upper floor of the Levis Faculty Center, and a slice of dessert—a sweet, creamy cheesecake—already marked each individual place setting. As a play that dramatizes the Christian concept of psychomachia, the battle for the soul, the medieval morality drama Mankindrepresents humanity’s ongoing struggle to choose between good and evil. We playgoers were immediately placed in a similar subject position to that of its eponymous character, Mankind. Thanks to its status as dinner theater, the performance was framed by gluttony. Faced with a decision between the rigors of labor or the ease of carousing, Mankind struggled to decipher the rhetorics enticing her to travel down righteous or sinful paths—just as we struggled with how many times it would be appropriate to visit the open bar while sitting in the midst of leading medieval performance scholars.