Judging Good Judgment

by James D. Mazzocco

The 2010 Class envisioned a Zombie Apocalypse version of the Wakefield Last Judgment (Image Credit: Fee and Miller 2010)

The end draws nigh!  In just a few short weeks, Professor Christopher Fee’s ENG 312: Medieval Drama will perform Judgment is Good on the steps of Breidenbaugh.  The production, which is a modern representation of the biblical end of the world, boasts zombies, a real-life Hell Mouth and about as much sin and salvation as you can handle.

Yet don’t be so quick to cry “BLASPHEMY” despite the fact that Jesus is being played by a Gettysburg College senior; even the college’s pastor, Joseph Donnella admits that the script is something to behold.  “It does justice to what’s in modern times,” said Donnella during a visit to Professor Fee’s Medieval Drama class earlier this week.

Jesus Divides the Sheep from the Goats on Judgment Day (Image Credit: Fee and Schrum 2010)



The production blends the early fifteenth-century production The Harrowing of Hell in which Jesus descends to hell in order to deliver salvation to all of the inherently good souls imprisoned there as well as the original The Last Judgment which depicts the judgment of the sins of all mankind.  But there are some slight differences between the original story and the adaptation that will take place April 30th at 4:00 PM behind Breidenbaugh.  “In the medieval world,” explains Pastor Donnella, “they had a more definite sense of Hell as a place.”  Therefore, the Hell of medieval times was viewed more as a place that was devoid of God or, as Donnella so eloquently explains, “as big holding cell where there’s nothing you’re going to find that’s torturous other than nothing.”  This is why Jesus’ descending into Hell during the Harrowing is so important, because he is offering the souls who died before the birth of Jesus an “escape out of death into a life with God.”

According to the Bible, Jesus’ descending into Hell actually takes place on Holy Saturday, the day before Jesus is resurrected after being crucified.  While the Harrowing has (theoretically) already taken place, The Last Judgment proves that Jesus could easily come back at any time to judge mankind for their sins.  “But how do we prepare ourselves?!” you cry.  Well, Pastor Donnella claims that the secret to everlasting life is to merely treat other people as you wish to be treated; that old nursery school admonition finally comes back to haunt us.

So save yourself the inconvenience of going to Hell when Jesus comes to town by treating people with respect, eating all of your vegetables and coming to the Medieval Drama production of Judgment is Good on April 30th at 4:00 PM behind Breidenbaugh.

Dated 04/22/10