The Second Shepard's Play
The Second Shepherds' Play was written in the fifteenth century by a playwright known to scholars today as the Wakefield Master. The comic-drama focuses on Col, the nominal leader of three shepherds and their encounter with Mak, the local thief. In the middle of the night, Mak casts a spell over the three and makes off with a lamb. Arriving home, Mak's wife Gil disguises the lamb as a baby, so that when the shepherds come knocking, they are at first fooled before discovering the deception. Exacting their revenge, they retrieve their sheep to return to the flock. That night they are visited by an angel who allows these shepherds to travel back in time to witness the birth of Christ and give him presents, making the journey from the profane dark comedy of the beginning to the sublime divine of a miracle play.
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