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'The Shoemaker's Holiday' by Thomas Dekker

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on 9 October 2013

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Transcript of 'The Shoemaker's Holiday' by Thomas Dekker

Other Themes
- Disguise
- Forbidden love
- War
- Deception
- Sex
- Economy
- National identity
Love & Marriage
- Despite the partnership between Rose and Lacy being frowned upon, the audience is still cheering for the couple.
- Oatley decides he wanted Hammon to wed Rose after only 14 lines of dialogue. Creates a contrast between marriage for love and marriage for wealth/status.
- How substantial do you believe the marriages and love affairs are in the play?
Dekker focuses on the problems of inter-status relationships.
Oatley and the Earl of Lincoln have a amiable relationship until a combining of their families.
- The Oxford DNB describes Dekker as creating 'a compassionate and sensitive presentation of lower-class characters'
- Michael Manheim says the play enforces the idea that 'a man's "inner linings" determine his worth, not his birth or rank' and 'humble origins are no greater assurance of true manhood than noble origins'. Those associated with the shop and celebrated and those with the court condemned. Do you agree with this?
- How do you think this theme was received by the Queen and other people of high status who saw the play?
- Dekker was imprisoned for 7 years for a debt. How do you believe this affected his portrayal of wealth and status?
The Lord Admiral's Men
- They were designed specifically to entertain the Queen during Christmas and to defend play-acting in London.
- Performed predominantly at The Rose Theatre.
- Created alongside the Shakespeare Company, called Lord Chamberlain's Men. They would perform Shakespeare's plays whilst The Lord Admiral's Men would perform Marlowe's.
- Dekker wrote 4 plays for them under his own name but contributed to over 40.


There are five women in the play: Margery, Jane, Rose and Sybil.
All are of different social status. The Mayors daughter, her maid, and then Margery who starts off as a shoemakers wife and is elevated in status through his promotion to mayor

Things to consider: What does the way the women speak say about then (Margery's innuendos, Roses
What is the significance of how they are refered to
by others? (Hammon with Jane and Rose,
Eyre to his wife)?
There must be some significance of the idea of
consumer goods in a play about shoe making.
The shoes Ralph made for Jane before he left
were very elaborate , he compares them to
jewelry .
This is a bum roll
Margery: I must enlarge my bum
Eyre is often rude to his wife. "Peace, midriff! Silence, Cecily bumtrinket." (1:162)

Women after often called "Quean's" (sluts)

"Fat midriff-swag-belly whores"

Some times this is described as friendly abuse, other times not Is it just time appropriate misogyny or does it have some other function?
Some insults are certainly there for comedic value.
Full transcript