Second Shepherds Play Essay Research Paper The

Second Shepherds Play Essay, Research Paper

The Second Shepherds Play goes against many of the characteristics that Horace

believes should be in a play. The play does not stay in the boundaries of genres

by mixing comedy with seriousness. It is not consistent; it is not without

surprises. Finally, the author did not completely believe in Dulce Et Utile or

does he carefully weigh the judgment of his work. This play combines a little

bit of comedy with extreme seriousness. The play begins with three shepherds

guarding their sheep when a character named Mak joins them. Mak steals a sheep

while the shepherds are sleeping and take it home to his wife. When the

shepherds arrive at Mak’s house to see if he has stolen the sheep they are

fooled into believing that the sheep is a new born baby that Mak?s wife has

just delivered. Even with a close up view of the sheep/baby, the shepherds

believe it is just an ugly baby with a big snout. The punishment that the

shepherds inflict on Mak when they finally realize the baby is a sheep is quite

comical also. Stealing is a serious crime and it has been for quite some time.

The shepherd simply place Mak inside a blanket and toss him up and down a few

times. When the shepherds are finished inflicting their punishment on Mak they

return to guard their sheep. At this point in the play the plot takes a complete

turn from comedy to seriousness. Other than the three shepherds still being

characters in the play, the whole plot changes. The three shepherds receive word

that baby Jesus is born in Bethlehem. The play goes from one extreme to the

other surprisingly fast; it is almost two separate plays. Dulce Et Utile is a

Latin word that means to give pleasure and profit. When a writer has the gift of

story telling they should share it by writing and publishing their stories or

plays. Someone with a true gift of being able to write will give pleasure to

those who read it. When a story or play is published and bought by those who

read it, the author makes a profit from it. The author of The Second Shepherds

Play is unknown. During the day and age when this play was written it was not

the proper profession to have being a writer. If one was lucky enough to have

the talent of being a writer they did it without signing their name to it. Not

only did this not reveal the author, but also it prevented the author from

receiving any real profit from his works. This is very unlike the Greek and

Roman days when the playwright would have a choragos for his play. A choragos is

a financial backer that would pay the playwright a salary while he was writing

the play and support the performance of it at the festival. If the playwright

were lucky enough to win at the festival they would receive more profit from

their play. The author of this play did not carefully weigh the judgment of his

work. If he had carefully weighed the judgment of his work, he would have been

proud of it and signed his name to it. It is obviously good work or it wouldn’t

be published and studied today. Maybe The Second Shepherds Play does go against

the characteristics that Horace feels should be included in plays, but then

maybe it has characteristics of its own. The author of course will never see the

profit that this play has generate from being published and performed, but maybe

someday, someone will find out who the author is and give recognition where it

is due.

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