Anachronism or Contemporary Concepts in The Second Shepherd’

             Anachronism or Contemporary Concepts in The Second Shepherd’s Play.
             Mystery plays have been a source for the Church to spread its Word and its teachings. What one could consider a Middle Ages type of play is still being performed in these days, at least in some countries such as Mexico. Every Christmas for a couple of weeks, professional actors and also commoners make a representation of the Annunciation and of the Birth of the Lord Jesus; and like in the Middle Ages they use a touch of wit and sense of humour to make them entertaining. These days the reason for this type of performance is mainly entertainment, thou it still spreads the Word and deals with the forces of evil and good. In the Middle Ages these performances were in many ways the only resource the Church had to diffuse these doctrines as the people were mostly illiterate, other reasons were the scarcity of manuscripts and the cost of them as well; but one of the characteristics that has prevailed to these days is the use of contemporary concepts, thou many people may see them as mere anachronisms. The Second Shepherd’s Play is a good example of the use of this timely imprecision. Some of the resources the playwrights of the time had to reach the people were symbols and images, and of course concepts used in those times; thus the use of anachronisms which may seem a bit sacrilegious, but were necessary to get the people to relate to the play and to in the end understand the doctrine shown.
             The first anachronism is shown almost immediately after the play has started, the second shepherd is talking about marriage and as he is about to finish his lines as he says: “For, as ever read I’ pistle, I have one to my fere, /Sharp as a thistle, as rough as a brere,” (100-101)
             This is a mention to reading an epistle. Epistles are apostolic letters found in the New Testament which were written mainly by the Apostle Paul. What people were used to listening to at Church...

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Anachronism or Contemporary Concepts in The Second Shepherd’. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 13:21, January 22, 2017, from