Melissa Rudder's Reviews > Second Shepherd's Play

Second Shepherd's Play by Lisl Beer
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Sep 23, 08

Read in November, 2002, read count: 1

The Second Shepherds’ Play has the honor of being the first play I will under no circumstances (well, maybe a few *imagines debating about early episodic drama in a coffee shop while sipping hot cocoa, getting annoyed and deciding to, instead of pouring hot cocoa over the opponent’s head, recommend this play in order to torture the opponent*) recommend to anyone. Although my professor of British Literature (course one) drummed into our heads that the “middle ages” and “renaissance” are clearly problematic groupings of artistic development, I must say that the anonymous The Second Shepherds’ Play is clearly a fruit of the stereotypical dark ages.

The idea is that the story of a trickster hiding a pig in a cradle parallels and contrasts the story of Jesus’ birth. The comparison did nothing for me. I was neither enlightened by seeing the story of Jesus’ birth in a new light nor moved by experiencing similar stories through the eyes of the shepherds. When I write these reviews, I always take the chance of looking dense, worrying that the story is a lot more than I give it credit for. Hopefully that’s the case with this one.

Okay, so apparently medieval writers were all about the world being united beyond time, so there are numerous anachronisms that drove me nuts. Basically, the shepherds who discovered Jesus were already Christians. Annoying.

So, in conclusion, don’t read The Second Shepherds’ Play Or if you have, and you saw something more in it, tell me.
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Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

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message 1: by Dani (new)

Dani umm. in the origional play its a sheep from the shepherds not a pig.


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