The Second Shepherd’s Play

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Gyb Character Analysis

Gyb is the middle of the three shepherds (older than Daw but younger than Coll) and is also a protagonist. Like Coll, Gyb’s life is marked by hardship, however he specifically feels oppressed by his marriage to his obnoxious, nagging wife. Besides his soliloquy at the beginning of the play, Gyb is the least outspoken of the shepherds, as his lines are the shortest and most infrequent.

Gyb Quotes in The Second Shepherd’s Play

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

Gyb Character Timeline in The Second Shepherd’s Play

The timeline below shows where the character Gyb 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
Another shepherd, Gyb, enters. Thinking he is alone, Gyb grumbles to himself about the bitter cold and his... (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 shepherds, Daw remarks to himself about the raging storm,... (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 (despite the both of them having just indulged in long, sorrowful... (full context)
Scene 2
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 crime and will come looking for their... (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... (full context)
Christian Charity Theme Icon
...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... (full context)
Christian Charity Theme Icon
Suffering and Redemption Theme Icon
...declares that 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
...pulls the cloth back and reveals—to his surprise and Mak’s horror—the stolen sheep. Coll and Gyb finally catch up to Daw and see the sheep lying exposed in the cradle. (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... (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... (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... (full context)
Earthly vs. Spiritual Theme Icon
Christian Charity Theme Icon
Suffering and Redemption Theme Icon
Gyb calls Christ the “sovereign savior” and presents him with a bird. He lovingly refers to... (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... (full context)