On another note, the explanation “plaied vpon scaffoldes [execution platforms]” is limiting, I think. The primary meaning of “scaffoldes” in a theatrical metaphor would have been raised stages, rather than execution platforms. Of course, the term means both here, and it’s commonplace for commentators to note the pun on the term “scaffoldes” to evoke the execution platform. I’m curious why you chose to define the term using only the secondary meaning rather than the less-well-known one or both meanings.




Gloria J. Betcher, PhD (she/her/hers)

Associate Teaching Professor

Department of English

419 Ross Hall

1527 Farm House Lane

Ames, IA 50014


From: Al Magary
Sent: Monday, April 5, 2021 1:08 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Thomas More's "staige plaie"


Thanks to Anne Lancashire and Michael Winkelman for leads on what the "staige plaie" reference in More's Richard III was all about. The Warnicke article I found at JSTOR. I especially needed that correction to my misapprehension: More was not referring to some skit in which a sultan (character) was really a shoemaker (character)--which is good comedic stuff for later decades and centuries--but a civilian shoemaker acting in the role of the sultan in a morality play who would not want anyone in the audience to call him by his actual name.

I won't be doing much explaining of More's influences (not just the miracle plays but Latin dramatists too) as my work is about Hall's Chronicle. Thus I am more interested in the interplay of the two texts, with reference to some Latin version passages that Hall omitted (he seems not to have been aware of More's Latin version) and differences in wording. Responsibility for many variants could be placed on Hall's publisher, Richard Grafton, who was first to include More's history in his prose continuation of Hardyng's metrical chronicle (1543), and of course on typesetters. But a footnote explaining More's connection to miracle plays he may even have acted in will catch some interest.

Al Magary
Hall's Chronicle Project

On 4/4/2021 1:59 PM, Michael Winkelman wrote:

It's been ages since I've read it, but Retha Warnicke's article, "More's Richard III and the Mystery Plays," in Historical Journal 35 (1992): 761-78, may also be helpful.

~Michael A. Winkelman


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