The tradition of telling stories in the Middle Ages brought to the birth of the drama.
At first the drama was practiced in the church during the mass. The mass is a sort of dialogue between the priest (=prete) and his people and some parts of the Gospels (=Vangeli), at that time, were acted on particular festivities like Christmas, Easter,
. Corpus Christi
The original and most important forms of drama were the mystery plays (1200 -1500)and the miracle plays. They were Bible stories from the Creation to the Second Coming (Doomsday), and lives and martyrdom of the Saints. They were both spoken in Latin and were, at first, performed inside the church in front of the altar, then they moved outside the church, in the courtyards (=cortili) and ultimately on carriages or platforms (= carri) on wheels (=ruote), which could move from place to place, the pageants.
Little by little (=a poco a poco), Latin was replaced by vernacular and more humorous particulars taken from daily life were added to amuse (entertain = divertire) the audiences that had little or no education.
The third important type of medieval drama were the morality plays ( typical of 1400), dramatized allegories, in which the characters were human features (characteristics = caratteristuche), virtues and vices. The most important of this type of plays was Everyman, centered on man and on the salvation of his soul.
Afterwards the morality plays developed into the interludes, short plays or incidental entertainments, usually performed in the middle of a feast. The characters were still frequently allegorical, but with more comical elements and an easier language. The most famous and enjoyable of interludes are The Play of the Wether by J. Heywood, printed in
1533, in which Jupiter tries to please (satisfy = compiacere) all the contradictory desires of men.