In Comus, Milton appears to have used both stock characters and stock plot. Taking his cue from the liturgical text which the Book of Common Prayer listed for St. Michael's Day (Revelation xii, 7–13), he turned to the plot of the Woman Wandering in the Wilderness which had been the subject of the Advent plays of medieval drama. The Woman from Revelation, chapter xii, was first dramatized in the twelfth-century Ludus de Antichristo, in which she was named Ecclesia (following the tradition of biblical commentaries). Her two companions were Mercy and Justice, two of the Four Daughters of God. Milton appears to have known the work of Reformation playwrights who exploited the older Advent plays. Thomas Kirchmayer re-created the Wandering Woman as Veritas and adapted the Tempter of the medieval drama into a sophisticated villain. John Foxe developed the mystery characters in his Comoedia Apocalyptica: Ecclesia reappears, accompanied by two boys. Foxe's heroine resists the Tempter and anticipates her marriage to the Heavenly Bridegroom. The Advent plays had ended with the Archangel Michael winging to the rescue. Milton's Attendant Spirit functions in a similar way to confront Comus, who has inherited the attributes of the seductive Antichrist.

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