Date of Award


Thesis Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Liberal Studies


Dr. Steve Phelan


This project deals with the one and only character of Satan, revealing him through the eyes of the medieval world. The ever-evolving, interconnectedness of culture, religion, and superstition make for a truly unique theatrical experience in the middle ages. With limited understanding and access to scripture, medieval Christians generated a blended belief system, in order to make sense of the metaphysical world, which manifests itself in medieval drama‟s representations of Satan. While the medieval character of Satan upholds many of the Church‟s teachings about his nature and purpose, he takes on a new persona when left to the dramatic interpretation of the laity, as opposed to the interpretation of the monastic writer, scholar, or prophetic poet. The literary work of Dante and Milton deliver valuable satanic representations, arguably trumping all others, but something essential is lacking there, when compared to the Satan found on the medieval stage, who now resides not in hell, but in the shadow of Dante and Milton‟s Satan.