“The Macro Plays: The Castle of Perseverance, Wisdom, Mankind

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The Macro Manuscript is a collection of three 15th-century English morality plays, known as the "Macro plays" or "Macro moralities": Mankind, The Castle of Perseverance, and Wisdom. So named for its 18th-century owner Reverend Cox Macro (1683–1767), the manuscript contains the earliest complete examples of English morality plays. A stage plan attached to The Castle of Perseverance is also the earliest known staging diagram in England. The manuscript is the only source for The Castle of Perseveranceand Mankind and the only complete source for Wisdom. The Macro Manuscript is a part of the collection at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C. (MS. V.a. 354). For centuries, scholars have studied the Macro Manuscript for insights into medieval drama. As Clifford Davidson writes in Visualizing the Moral Life, "in spite of the fact that the plays in the manuscript are neither written by a single scribe nor even attributed to a single date, they collectively provide our most important source for understanding the fifteenth century English morality play."[1]