The Second Shepherd’s Play

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Gill Character Analysis

Gill is an antagonist of the play, wife to Mak, and mother to several children. Cunning and deceitful, Gill is the mastermind behind the plan to disguise the stolen sheep as a newborn baby and to pretend she has just given birth in order to deceive the shepherds. Though she reminds Mak several times that theft is punishable by hanging, Gill is excited by the trick and wishes to help Mak with even more complicated schemes. Like Gyb’s wife, Gill nags Mak constantly, although Mak and Gill’s bickering is often playful.

Gill Quotes in The Second Shepherd’s Play

The The Second Shepherd’s Play quotes below are all either spoken by Gill or refer to Gill. 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 2 Quotes

I am worthy of my meat, / For in a trice I can get / More than they who strive and sweat / All the day long.

Related Characters: Mak (speaker), Gill
Related Symbols: Sheep
Page Number: 2.14-17
Explanation and Analysis:
Scene 4 Quotes

Were a worse plight, I’d find a way still.

Related Characters: Gill (speaker), Mak
Related Symbols: Sheep
Page Number: 4.30
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:
Scene 7 Quotes

Thou hast cowed at last the devil so wild / The false beguiler now goes beguiled.

Related Characters: Coll (speaker), Mak, Gill, Christ
Page Number: 7.3-4
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire The Second Shepherd’s Play LitChart as a printable PDF.
The Second Shepherd’s Play PDF

Gill Character Timeline in The Second Shepherd’s Play

The timeline below shows where the character Gill 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
...has a house full of children that he is responsible for feeding. His gluttonous wife, Gill, does nothing but eat and drink, save for giving birth to one or two more... (full context)
Scene 2
Christian Charity Theme Icon
Pounding on the door to his shack, Mak calls out for his wife, Gill, to undo the latch. Gill is annoyed by the middle-of-the-night interruption, claiming she can’t make... (full context)
Earthly vs. Spiritual Theme Icon
Christian Charity Theme Icon
Mak wants to eat the sheep immediately, but Gill stops him, reminding him that Coll, Gyb, and Daw will certainly suspect Mak of the... (full context)
Scene 4
Christian Charity Theme Icon
Mak returns to his hut from the fields. Beginning to feel nervous, Mak tells Gill that the shepherds will immediately suspect him when they realize one of their sheep is... (full context)
Song as a Means for Transformation Theme Icon
Preparing for the shepherds’ imminent arrival, Gill tells Mak to sing a lullaby to the swaddled sheep while she groans in fake... (full context)
Scene 5
Suffering and Redemption Theme Icon
...fields, the shepherds discover one of their sheep is missing and immediately suspect Mak and Gill. Angrily, the shepherds claim that they will not rest until they prove Mak guilty and... (full context)
Scene 6
Earthly vs. Spiritual Theme Icon
Suffering and Redemption Theme Icon
Song as a Means for Transformation Theme Icon
...and Daw arrive outside of Mak’s shack and are startled by the din Mak and Gill are making: Gill groans, while Mak sings abrasively and out of tune. The shepherds shout... (full context)
Christian Charity Theme Icon
Suffering and Redemption Theme Icon
Mak tells the shepherds that his dream about Gill giving birth in the night actually came true. The shepherds ignore his comment and tell... (full context)
Earthly vs. Spiritual Theme Icon
Christian Charity Theme Icon
...innocent and tells the shepherds to search his house. As the shepherds begin their search, Gill turns hysterical, claiming the shepherds are here to rob them and must leave at once.... (full context)
Earthly vs. Spiritual Theme Icon
Christian Charity Theme Icon
Suffering and Redemption Theme Icon
...let alone any food whatsoever. Trying to ease the tension, Coll jokes that Mak and Gill’s newborn baby smells as bad as their sheep did. The shepherds apologize to Mak for... (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,... (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 and Gill from being hanged. He... (full context)