The Chaucer Review: An Indexed Bibliography (Vols. 1-30)Return to the Subject List
Adams, Robert. "The Egregious Feasts of the Chester and Towneley Shepherds." 21 (1986): 96-107.
The playwrights of the Chester and Towneley cycles include feasts at the beginning of each play in order to dramatize the difference between Christ, the coming Good Shepherd, and the poor shepherds who disregard the law by eating what is specifically forbidden in the Levitical codes and who are more interested in their own dinners than in feeding their sheep.
Campbell, Josie P. "The Idea of Order in the Wakefield Noah." 10 (1975): 76-86.
The Wakefield Noah is about love and mastery within the family unit. In discovering divine love, however, Noah also gains an understanding of obedience. Love produces friendship, and friendship, obedience. Noah must realize that love connects man to God in obedience and that the obedience this love produces will save the world. The commitment to care for his family and for the animals is an essential part of man's relationship to God. God's love sustains earthly life. Evidence in the play does not suggest that Noah ever gains mastery over Uxor, his wife. Uxor's idea of mastery is based on fear and contrasts with the ideas about love which Noah is learning. Finally, when Uxor and Noah fight to a draw, their sons suggest a new way of behaving in which Noah and Uxor will be equals. Ultimately, Noah asserts that love maintains order, not fear.
Daniels, Richard J. "Uxor Noah: A Raven or a Dove?" 14 (1979): 23-32.
Of the Chester, York, and Towneley Noah plays depicting Uxor as a shrewish wife, the Towneley play shows superior handling of the shrewish wife material. The Towneley Noah speaks more than the Noah characters of the Chester and York cycles, and the Towneley Noah presents solid reasons for God to destroy humankind. In both the York and Chester plays, Uxor refuses, when requested, to enter the ark, but seems agreeable prior to this incident. The Towneley Uxor, however, fights with Noah before the issue of entering the ark arises. In order to convince Uxor to enter the ark the Towneley Noah must beat her into agreeing and receives blows himself in the process. The humanity of this struggle has greater dramatic effect than the smoother relationships depicted in the Chester and York Noah plays. Noah and Uxor reach agreement in the ark, and demonstrate their new accord when they release the raven and the dove. At the end of the play, the Towneley Uxor shows that she is more dove-like (faithful and true) than raven-like (faithless and disobedient).