Ralph Roister Doister

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Plautus (c. 254—184 bc) Roman comic dramatist

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The earliest known English comedy, by Udall, probably performed about 1552 and printed about 1566, and perhaps played by Westminster boys while Udall was headmaster of that school. The play, in short rhymed doggerel, represents the courting of the widow Christian Custance, who is betrothed to Gawin Goodlucke, an absent merchant, by Roister, a swaggering simpleton, instigated thereto by the mischievous Mathewe Merygreeke. Roister is repulsed and beaten by Custance and her maids; and Goodlucke, after being deceived by false reports, is reconciled to her. The play shows similarity to the comedies of Plautus and Terence.

Subjects: Literary Studies (Plays and Playwrights).

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Udall Nicholas (c. 1505—1556) schoolmaster and playwright

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