The Second Shepherd’s Play

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Anonymous

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Daw Character Analysis

The third protagonist, Daw, is the youngest of the three shepherds and reports to Coll and Gyb. Daw is treated somewhat poorly by Coll and Gyb and is plagued by his constant hunger and poverty. He shows the widest emotional range throughout the play. At times, he acts with compassion and warmth, such as when he runs back to Mak’s house ahead of the other shepherds to give Mak’s newborn baby a present. Other times, he is solemn and deeply religious: he is the first to urge the other shepherds to embark on their journey to Bethlehem to see Christ, he admonishes Coll and Gyb for trying to humorously replicate the Angel’s song, and he notes how the nativity has erased their earthly suffering. However, Daw is also the most violent of the shepherds, shown when he vehemently calls for Mak and Gill to receive the death penalty for stealing their sheep. Daw’s wide emotional range reinforces that he is the youngest of the shepherds and reveals the way he gets swept up by his emotions.

Daw Quotes in The Second Shepherd’s Play

The The Second Shepherd’s Play quotes below are all either spoken by Daw or refer to Daw. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Earthly vs. Spiritual Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Branden Books edition of The Second Shepherd’s Play published in 2011.
Scene 1 Quotes

We are so hammed, / Over-taxed and rammed, / We are made hand-tammed / By these gentlemen.

Related Characters: Coll (speaker), Gyb, Daw
Page Number: 1.15-18
Explanation and Analysis:

There was never since Noah’s flood such weather seen. / …How these snows all drown / The fields and the town / And bear all down, / ‘Tis a wonder!

Related Characters: Daw (speaker), Coll, Gyb
Page Number: 1.74, 79-82
Explanation and Analysis:

Ere we go now, I would someone gave us a song.
So I thought, as I stood, to beguile us along.

Related Characters: Gyb (speaker), Daw (speaker), Coll
Page Number: 1.111-112
Explanation and Analysis:

Let be! I’m a yeoman of the king / And a messenger from a great lordling / …I must have reverence! / Dare you ask, who am I?

Related Characters: Mak (speaker), Coll, Gyb, Daw
Page Number: 1.131-132, 136-137
Explanation and Analysis:

Manus tuas commendo / Pontio Pilato.

Related Characters: Mak (speaker), Coll, Gyb, Daw
Related Symbols: Sheep
Page Number: 1.194-195
Explanation and Analysis:
Scene 6 Quotes

Oh, my belly! I die! / I vow to God so mild / If ever I you beguiled / Then I will eat this child / That doth in cradle lie!

Related Characters: Gill (speaker), Coll, Gyb, Daw, Mak
Related Symbols: Sheep
Page Number: 6.61-65
Explanation and Analysis:

Sirs, for this deed, take my advice instead / For this trespass. / We will neither curse not fight / Nor dispute our right / We’ll tie him up tight / And toss him in canvas.

Related Characters: Coll (speaker), Gyb, Daw, Mak, Gill
Related Symbols: Sheep
Page Number: 6.138-143
Explanation and Analysis:

Rise, herdsmen, rise, for Christ is born / To rend that fiend that Adam had lorn / The Saviour of all, this night is he born. / His behests / To Bethlehem go see / Where lies this baby / In a crib full poorly / Betwixt two beasts.

Related Characters: Angel (speaker), Coll, Gyb, Daw, Christ
Page Number: 6.153-160
Explanation and Analysis:

Hie we thither right merry / If we be wet and weary / Still, we’ll find the child and lady, / We cannot lose.

Related Characters: Daw (speaker), Coll, Gyb, Christ, Mary
Page Number: 6.182-185
Explanation and Analysis:
Scene 7 Quotes

And now he is born. / To keep you from woe / I shall pray him so, / Tell it forth, as ye go, / And mind on this morn!

Related Characters: Mary (speaker), Coll, Gyb, Daw, Christ
Page Number: 7.32-36
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire The Second Shepherd’s Play LitChart as a printable PDF.
The Second Shepherd’s Play PDF

Daw Character Timeline in The Second Shepherd’s Play

The timeline below shows where the character Daw appears in The Second Shepherd’s Play. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Scene 1
Earthly vs. Spiritual Theme Icon
Suffering and Redemption Theme Icon
...get his attention. Gyb greets Coll with playful mock-contempt and asks if Coll has seen Daw. (full context)
Earthly vs. Spiritual Theme Icon
Christian Charity Theme Icon
Suffering and Redemption Theme Icon
Daw, a young shepherd boy who serves Coll and Gyb, enters. Not yet noticing the other... (full context)
Earthly vs. Spiritual Theme Icon
Suffering and Redemption Theme Icon
Song as a Means for Transformation Theme Icon
Daw mutters about how poorly he is treated, and Coll and Gyb scold him for complaining... (full context)
Scene 2
Earthly vs. Spiritual Theme Icon
Christian Charity Theme Icon
...to eat the sheep immediately, but Gill stops him, reminding him that Coll, Gyb, and Daw will certainly suspect Mak of the crime and will come looking for their stolen sheep.... (full context)
Scene 3
Christian Charity Theme Icon
Suffering and Redemption Theme Icon
Coll, Gyb, and Daw awaken from their deep, spell-induced sleep. After quickly checking that Mak is still with them,... (full context)
Christian Charity Theme Icon
...shepherds to search him to prove that he hasn’t stolen from them. As Mak departs, Daw tells Coll and Gyb that they should go check on their sheep just in case. (full context)
Scene 6
Earthly vs. Spiritual Theme Icon
Suffering and Redemption Theme Icon
Song as a Means for Transformation Theme Icon
Coll, Gyb, and Daw arrive outside of Mak’s shack and are startled by the din Mak and Gill are... (full context)
Christian Charity Theme Icon
Suffering and Redemption Theme Icon
...had he witnessed the theft, he would have beaten up the culprit. Coll, Gyb, and Daw remark that they have reason to believe Mak is the thief. (full context)
Earthly vs. Spiritual Theme Icon
Christian Charity Theme Icon
...the shepherds depart, they realize that they failed to leave a gift for the baby. Daw runs back ahead of the others to present Mak with a sixpence. Meanwhile, thinking he... (full context)
Earthly vs. Spiritual Theme Icon
Christian Charity Theme Icon
Daw insists upon at least seeing the baby to give him a kiss. He pulls the... (full context)
Christian Charity Theme Icon
Suffering and Redemption Theme Icon
Coll and Gyb are amused by the cleverness of Mak and Gill’s trick, but Daw is infuriated, demanding Mak and Gill be hanged for their crime. Desperately, Mak and Gill... (full context)
Earthly vs. Spiritual Theme Icon
Christian Charity Theme Icon
Suffering and Redemption Theme Icon
Daw is adamant that Mak and Gill face the death penalty, but Coll compassionately spares Mak... (full context)
Earthly vs. Spiritual Theme Icon
Suffering and Redemption Theme Icon
Song as a Means for Transformation Theme Icon
The Angel vanishes as suddenly as it appeared, leaving Coll, Gyb, and Daw to marvel at what they’ve just witnessed. Jokingly, Coll and Gyb try to imitate the... (full context)
Earthly vs. Spiritual Theme Icon
Suffering and Redemption Theme Icon
Song as a Means for Transformation Theme Icon
Daw declares that it no longer matters that they’re cold, wet, and tired—all that matters now... (full context)
Scene 7
Earthly vs. Spiritual Theme Icon
Christian Charity Theme Icon
Skipping the shepherds’ actual journey, Scene VII opens with Coll, Gyb, and Daw at the stable in Bethlehem with Mary and Christ. Each of the three shepherds prepare... (full context)
Earthly vs. Spiritual Theme Icon
Christian Charity Theme Icon
Suffering and Redemption Theme Icon
Daw’s heart breaks at the sight of Christ’s poverty. Calling baby Jesus “darling dear, full of... (full context)
Earthly vs. Spiritual Theme Icon
Christian Charity Theme Icon
Suffering and Redemption Theme Icon
Song as a Means for Transformation Theme Icon
Coll, Gyb, and Daw know they are redeemed. They decide to spread the news of the nativity through song... (full context)