Mistero Buffo: Mary Under The Cross

Mistero Buffo was first performed October 2, 1969 outside Milan by Dario Fo (Behan 99). Oftentimes, his performances of Mistero Buffo were with his wife, Franca Rame, who stated that Fo began collecting these pieces seven years earlier. However, his revisions of Biblical texts date back to 1953 (Behan 95). Inspired by Marxist theories, he strove “to make audiences become aware that their position in society is a consequence of the privileges and oppression perpetrated at their expense by another group in society, the ruling class” (Behan 96). He also used these performances to be a “living newspaper” (Behan 99), incorporating current news and political and cultural satire into them. Fo’s political and social triggers led him to create a more …show more content…
It is described as a mystery because when Fo first discovered this story, he saw textual fragments about its 13th century origins in a magazine article. One detail that stuck out to him was that the Virgin Mary was quite different than the well-known Biblical version of her. In this piece, she refused to accept that Jesus was making himself into a sacrificial lamb for all those who have sinned. Additionally, she opposed everyone that contributed to putting Jesus on the cross to be crucified (Fo and Rame 129). Later on, he saw fragments from another story from the 1300s which caused a debate over Mary at the time, questioning whether or not she was aware of her son’s plans to be crucified as a martyr to all Christians (Fo and Rame 129-30). Specifically in the Mistero Buffo piece “Mary Under the Cross,” Fo wanted to give attention to those who are marginalized. Therefore, those who are oppressed “use the voice of the Madonna to shout their revolt against supine acceptance, almost evoking the words of the Apocalypse that promise the coming of a better world, just and fair, where happiness can be enjoyed not only in the afterlife” (Fo and Rame 131). In this case, Mary speaks for the masses to which no one was listening. In part of her experience she begs Gabriel to appear and then blames him for her suffering. Gabriel was the angel that told her about having the son of a King. The second time in which she calls upon Gabriel, she speaks for the masses when she says that there is no longer any hope for the

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