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Folly (Gerry Mulgrew) preaches his sermon.

Folly (Gerry Mulgrew) preaches his sermon.

Working on the texts and contexts of the play suggests just how robust Scottish court and civic culture must have been in the mid-sixteenth century, how open to criticism and vigorous debate, in ways that other Renaissance courts and public spheres seem not to have been. It also suggests how versatile, accommodating, and implicitly democratic were both the dramatic form and the Middle Scots language in this period.  That Lyndsay could use the same dialect, and broadly the same lexicon to voice both a Cupar tailor and the king of Scotland, a poor cottar and the archangel Michael, suggests a capaciousness and social inclusivity to Scots ‘Inglish’ that was seemingly not available to English writers of the same period.