Analysis of the Second Shepherds' Play

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Ultimately, I feel that this play is putting to perspective the Christian religious practices; by at the end of the play [the reader] should be able to understand that through forgiveness, a reward is possible. I feel that this play teaches those who follow the Christian faith that they’re people in the world who carry out and do the most outlandish of ideas which may get them caught. Instead of the person being punished for their deed of infraction or as part of punishment, forgive them and you shall be rewarded based on your ability to forgive those who trespass against you (reference to Moses’ Ten Commandments).

While not completely sure if I am within the ball park, I feel that this play “unites the audience in a common faith with messages of hope and mercy” (407), while showing the real life hardships of the period with the shepherds “complaining of taxation and insolent exploitation of the farmers by “gentlery-men” , revealing the social criticism and rifts and tensions” (407).

This play as a whole , shows a positive message of salvation I think, because from the introduction of the play, we [the reader] are immersed into the story of three shepherds who complained about everything from the weather, to being poor, and down-trodden miserable; that they become connected and empowered with getting their sheep back which was “sacrificed” [stolen] and referenced to Jesus [being called the Lamb], by Mak who is referenced as the “devil” with a modern interpretation. While not wanting to inflict more misery and pain, [the shepherds] punish Mak by tossing him in a blanket (presumably “killing” him). This act of charity is a reward itself for Mak disappears and possibly re-emerges as the angel Mary to give thanks and reward the shepherds [three wise men in a biblical sense] to see the Lamb (Baby Jesus) in Bethlehem.

With this being said, I feel that this play has a focus from the Ten Commandments and even the Book of Job from the Holy Bible, showing salvation and mercy upon those who learn to deal with their current situation, didn’t steal, or lie.

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