Thomas Dekker "The Shoemaker's Holiday" Discusses how romatic sub-plots relate to each other.

Essay by LaineyUniversity, Bachelor'sB, February 2003

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Thomas Dekker's citizen comedy The Shoemaker's Holiday introduces two romantic sub-plots, which continually compare and contrast with each other. Although there are many similarities between the two couples, it is the differences that Dekker utilizes to provide social commentary. Dekker employs comedy to address some serious social issues. The Ralph-Jane plot provides interjections of reality into the fairytale romance of the Rose-Lacy plot. In doing so he reflects on the social tensions of the time such as conflicts between classes, social mobility, economic concerns and the effects of war on individual relationships.

There are quite a few similarities between Ralph and Lacy in this play. Both men are pressed into war, and face the prospect of being torn from the women they love due to national interests. (p.12, 13) This is due to economic and social realities over which neither man has any control.

Lincoln, because of his social standing, is able to have Lacy commissioned to prevent his marriage to Rose. (p.10) Lincoln's motivation for this involves both social and economic considerations, as he considers her blood "too base". (99) Ralph in contrast is drafted simply because the lower classes were needed to populate the armies of the King. (p.14) Ralph is considered expendable and no thought is given to his family obligations.

Hammond poses a threat to the relationships of both men as he attempts to court both Rose and Jane in their absence. Rose shows no interest in Hammond's advances or his wealth. (p.44) Lacy is of a superior social class and money is of no concern to her, therefore Hammond has little power to influence Rose. Jane however is a poor working girl and more susceptible to the advances of someone in Hammond's position. Jane does not have the support...