Staging the Henrician Court : KEY QUESTION - Does the audience feel sorry for The Ranger?

This page last changed on Jan 20, 2010 by Eleanor Rycroft.

The Ranger appears to act out of desperation during his scene, bleeding at points into aggression, which can be attributed to the economic need he expresses during his petition for windy weather.  It is of interest that Heywood would include such a character in a piece of theatre that may have been performed before Henry however; The Ranger represents a particularly low-level court functionary in a play which would have been seen by a wide range of courtly workers if performed in a Great Hall setting.  How the audience might have responded to such a character originally and how he is seen now is of significance therefore.  Is it possible The Ranger might stimulate very different reactions from members of the audience depending on their own position within structures of economic and political power?  And what is your own response to the Merchant's argument?

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