1380-1425), for example, clearly felt that the mystery plays were little better than games: "sithen thes miraclis pleyeris taken in bourde the ernestful
werkis of God, no doute that ne they scornen God as diden the Jewis that bobbiden Crist, for they Iowen at his passioun as these Iowyn and japen of the miraclis of God." (23) The metaphor resurfaces over two hundred years later in the writings of another denigrator of biblical theater, William Prynne, who excoriates the blasphemy of those who "turne the most serious Oracles of Gods sacred word into a Play, a lest, a Fable, a Sport, a May-game." (24)
To illustrate the dangerous nature of 'miraclis pleyinge', both writers of the Tretise invoke various analogies, but the most visceral portrayal of the threat of 'miraclis pleyinge' comes when the writer of Part I compares those who engage in 'miraclis pleyinge' to the Jewish soldiers who tortured Christ in the Passion: 'sithen thes miraclis pleyeris taken in bourde the ernestful
werkis of God, no doute that ne they scornen God as diden the Jewis that bobbiden Crist, for they lowen at his passioun as these lowyn and japen of the miraclis of God' (133-7).