Elizabethan Drama. Comedies.

There were several famous dramatists writing comedies in those times. Among them Nickolas Udal and John Lyly were the most prominent ones. Nikolas Udal was a headmaster of Westminster school. He decided to write a humorous story for his boys at school. The comedy was a success, though it was written in rough verse.

In 1566 Udal decided to stage another comedy under the title “Gammer Gurton’s Needle”. The plot centres around Gammer Gurton who was finding a needle to mend clothes. There are a lot of quarrels, broken heads and jolly drinking songs in the comedy which was acted at Cambridge University. It is also in rough verse. John Lyly, the author of “Euphues”, was not only a novelist but also a dramatist who wrote a prose comedy “Campaspe”. The boy actors played it in front of Queen Elizabeth. They made a lot of fun and a lot of noise while playing the parts of great men. A nice song about Cupid — God of Love — was very popular among the people: “Cupid and my Campaspe played cards for kisses; Cupid paid.” Cupid loses one thing after another to Campaspe, and at last he offers his eyes:

At last he set her both his eyes;

She won, and Cupid blind did rise.

O Love, has she done this to thee?

What shall, alas! become of me?

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