"The essential feature of the ideal masque is the exaltation of the audience, who form the goal of its procession. In the auto, drama is at its most objective; the audience’s part is to accept the story without judgement. In tragedy there is judgement, but the source of the tragic discovery is on the other side of the stage; and whatever it is, it is stronger than the audience. In the ironic play, audience and drama confront each other directly; in the comedy the source of the discovery has moved across to the audience itself. The ideal masque places the audience in a position of superiority to discovery."
Northrop Frye, Anantomy of Criticism