Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

Titel:
A history of caricature and grotesque in literature and art
Person:
Wright, Thomas Fairholt, Frederick William
Persistente ID:
urn:nbn:de:gbv:wim2-g-1429385
PURL:
https://digitalesammlungen.uni-weimar.de/viewer/resolver?urn=urn:nbn:de:gbv:wim2-g-1432772
in 
Literatzzre 
and Art. 
283 
is not the end of the piece. God appears, feated on His throne, and 
Mercy, Peace, Juftice, and Truth appear before Him, the two former 
pleading for, and the latter againft, Humanum Genus, who, after fome 
difctrtiion, is faved. This allegorical picture of human life was, in one 
form or other, a favourite fubject of the moralifers. I n1ay quote as 
examples the interludes of "Lutty Juventus," reprinted in Hawkins's 
"Origin of the Englifh Drama," and the "Difobedient Child," and 
" Trial of Trealure," reprinted by the Percy Society. 
The fecond of the moralities afcribed to the reign of Henry VI., has 
for its principal characters Mind, Will, and Underltancling. Thefe are 
affailed by Lucifer, who fucceeds in alluring them to vice, and they 
change their modeit raiment for the drefs of gay gallants. Various other 
characters are introduced in a Iimilar {train of allegory, until they are 
reclaimed by W'ifdom. Mankind is again the principal perfonage of the 
third of thefe moralities, and fome of the othercharacters in the play, 
fuch as Nought, New-guife, and Now-a-days, remind us of the flmilar 
allegorical perfonages in the French moralities defcribed above. 
Thefe interludes bring us into acquaintance with a new comic character. 
The great part which folly acted in the focial deftinies of mankind, had 
become an acknowledged fact; and as the court and almoft every great 
houfehold had its profelied fool, fo it feems to have been confideredthat 
a play alfo was incomplete Without a fool. But, as the character of the 
fool was ufually given to one of the molt objectionable characters in it, 
fo, for this reafon apparently, the fool in a play was called the Vice. 
Thus, in " Lufly Juventus," the character of Hypocrily is called the Vice; 
in the play of "All for Money," it is Sin; in that of " Tom Tyler and 
his Wife," it is Defire; in the "Trial of Treafure" it is Inclination; 
and in fome inttances the Vice appears to be the demon himfelf. The 
Vice feems always to have been dreffed in the ufual coftume of a court 
fool, and he perhaps had other duties belides his mere part in the plot, 
fuch as making jefts of his own, and ufing other means for provoking 
the mirth of the audience in the intervals of the a6t1on. 
A few of our early Englifh interludes were, in the Prriii fenfe of the 
word, farces. Such is the "mery play" of "John the Hufband, Tyb the 
VVife,
        

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