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Going Against the Grain:

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Chapter Summary

From a Jewish standpoint, Passion plays are generally relegated to the same camp as accusations of host desecration, ritual murders, and well poisoning. This essay primarily the Jewish aspects of the 1879 production. It consists of ten acts, each ending with an intense emotional &t;curtain,&t; achieved by heightened music, sound, and visual effects, as well as spectacular tableaux vivants, some of them replicating well knows artworks like Rubens's painting of &t;Christ Lowered from the Cross&t;. Unlike the Oberammergau play, Morse's version did not include interludes depicting scenes from the Hebrew Bible as thematic foreshadowing intended to establish the connection between the Old and New Testaments. Film scholar Felicia Herman writes that &t;no other film of the 1920s, 1930s, or 1940s sparked as much public discussion and debate in the American Jewish community.

Keywords:american mainstream stage; Hebrew Bible; Jewish; passion plays; testaments

10.1163/9789004227194_005
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