Originally published in 1983, this was the first comprehensive study of the French sacred theatre during the crucial transition from the medieval to the modern conception of drama. Although some hundreds of sacred plays were written between 1550 and 1650, the genre was largely ignored by subsequent critics, deterred by deliberately non-naturalistic styles. The author explores the use of techniques which were not consecrated by later critical opinion, extending to other styles the reassessment of the humanist theatre occurring at the time of publication. He examines the functions that these conventions were intended to serve, and the effects that the dramatists sought in adopting one or another style: the result is a fresh appraisal of the dramatic forms then current, ranging from the medieval through the humanist and the baroque to the flowering of French Classicism. This book will be of value to anyone with an interest in theatre.