The Second Shepherd’s Play

by

Anonymous

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on The Second Shepherd’s Play can help.

Mak Character Analysis

Mak is the primary antagonist of the play, husband of Gill, father of several children, and enemy to the three shepherd protagonists, Coll, Gyb, and Daw. Widely known as a thief, Mak steals a sheep from the other shepherds, even though he knows the offense is punishable by hanging. Mak is deeply impoverished and struggles to feed his wife and children. Instead of working, Mak prides himself on making more by stealing than he could make with a steady job. Throughout the play, Mak is prideful, deceitful, and selfish. He blatantly turns away from God, acting instead in accordance with his own self-serving will.

Mak Quotes in The Second Shepherd’s Play

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

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 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

Mak Character Timeline in The Second Shepherd’s Play

The timeline below shows where the character Mak 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
Song as a Means for Transformation Theme Icon
...Ivy.” After completing their song, the shepherds’ complaints cease. Their attention is quickly turned to Mak, a well-known thief, whom they see approaching. (full context)
Christian Charity Theme Icon
Suffering and Redemption Theme Icon
Although the shepherds recognize Mak immediately, Mak pretends to be an important visitor from the south of England, claiming with... (full context)
Earthly vs. Spiritual Theme Icon
Suffering and Redemption Theme Icon
Mak whines that he is hungry, tired, and sick, and has a house full of children... (full context)
Christian Charity Theme Icon
Suffering and Redemption Theme Icon
...“worn,” and “forlorn,” shepherds give into their exhaustion and lie down to rest. Nervous about Mak stealing one of their sheep while they sleep, they force Mak to spend the night... (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... (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,... (full context)
Christian Charity Theme Icon
Mak agrees to his wife’s clever plan and returns to the fields where the shepherds are... (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, Daw reveals a dream he had during the night, where Mak... (full context)
Suffering and Redemption Theme Icon
Pretending to groggily awaken, Mak claims to have had a dream that his wife gave birth to yet another child... (full context)
Christian Charity Theme Icon
Before Mak returns home to his wife, he tells the shepherds to search him to prove that... (full context)
Scene 4
Christian Charity Theme Icon
Mak returns to his hut from the fields. Beginning to feel nervous, Mak tells Gill that... (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 postpartum pain. (full context)
Scene 5
Suffering and Redemption Theme Icon
...in the 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... (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 making: Gill groans, while... (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... (full context)
Earthly vs. Spiritual Theme Icon
Christian Charity Theme Icon
Mak claims he is innocent and tells the shepherds to search his house. As the shepherds... (full context)
Earthly vs. Spiritual Theme Icon
Christian Charity Theme Icon
Suffering and Redemption Theme Icon
The shepherds fail to find their sheep, dead or alive, in Mak’s shack, let alone any food whatsoever. Trying to ease the tension, Coll jokes that Mak... (full context)
Earthly vs. Spiritual Theme Icon
Christian Charity Theme Icon
...leave a gift for the baby. Daw runs back ahead of the others to present Mak with a sixpence. Meanwhile, thinking he had finally gotten away with his trick, Mak is... (full context)
Earthly vs. Spiritual Theme Icon
Christian Charity Theme Icon
...to give him a kiss. He 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... (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... (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... (full context)