A play named Ralph Roister Doister is generally looked upon as the first real English comedy.
In revenge for her scorn Ralph Roister Doister threatens to burn the dame's house down, and sets off to attack it with his servants.
Shortly after the middle of the century, probably, the head-master of Westminister School, Nicholas Udall, took the further step of writing for his boys on the classical model an original farce-comedy, the amusing 'Ralph Roister Doister
.' This play is so close a copy of Plautus' 'Miles Gloriosus' and Terence's 'Eunuchus' that there is little that is really English about it; a much larger element of local realism of the traditional English sort, in a classical framework, was presented in the coarse but really skillful
Noting that 'Recovering plausible music to songs in comic interludes is more possible than people may think', Duffin fleshes out this background via attention to sixteenth-century 'chorus-masters, composers, and instrumentalists' involved in the production of court interludes (20): William Cornysh, John Skel-ton, John Heywood, and Nicholas Udall (whose Ralph Roister Doister
Duffin dubs 'one of the most musical of English Renaissance comedies' ).
Ralph Roister Doister
contains a much more elaborate scene in which the maidservants--Madge Mumblecrust, Tib Talkapace and Annot Alyface--sing while performing three different female occupations, sewing, spinning and knitting ("So shall we pleasantly bothe the tyme beguile now,/ And eke dispatche all our works ere we can tell how.").
The players accepted it philosophically and took their wagons out into the country with a revival of Ralph Roister Doister
. Shakespeare was distraught.
Examining the social and aesthetic dynamics of the inarticulate in a "period of English literary history so long defined by the humanist revival of classical eloquence" (1), Manic uses a sophisticated understanding of rhetorical theory and history to illuminate both individual texts (such as Ralph Roister Doister
) and broader cultural subjects (such as anti-Catholic religious polemic).
Barry's Quality Street (March 1919), Harley Granville Barker and Lawrence Housman's Prunella (March 1920), and Nicholas Udall's Ralph Roister Doister
George's Chapel at Windsor in December 1551, while in the fall of 1552, Udall's play, Ralph Roister Doister
, often considered the first English comedy, was performed before Edward VI at Windsor (Udall).
If there are historical reasons for this narrative privileging of the individual, it is also true that Elizabethan and Jacobean drama had its own eponymic repertoire (Ralph Roister Doister
In 1966 a graduate seminar at the University of Toronto led to a production of the medieval play Rafe Roister Doister
and eventually to the formation of the Poculi Ludique Societas, or the PLS, the oldest and most respected medieval drama society in North America.
1938 "Some earlier examples of the rhetorical device in Ralph Roister Doister
(III.iv.33 ff.)", The Review of English Studies 14, 55: 321-323.