1577 - Johnson, Laurence - Misogonus (1)

From International Robin Hood Bibliography
Date 1577
Author Johnson, Laurence
Title Misogonus
Mentions Robin Hood; antic; monster; monk; goblin; fiend; hobby horse; tumbling bear

By Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2013-07-29. Revised by Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2021-01-07.


     Mis. Bodye of god stande backe what monster haue we heare
an antike or a munke a goblinge or a finde
some hobbye horse I thinke or some tumblinge beare
Yf thou canst speake & declare me the kinde.
     Ca. My yonge master ho ho ho
     Mis. Passion of me it is robin hoode I thinke verelye
I will let flye at him if he speake not furthwith
speake lubber speake or Ile kill the presentlye
Nay then haue at the shalt near dye other death.[1]

Source notes

IRHB's italics. Mis.=Misogonus; Ca.=Cacurgus; Or.=Orgelus. Brief note on this passage, p. 306.

IRHB comments

This text also includes an allusion to Maid Marian. Bond[2] notes that though ostensibly taking place in the Roman empire, Misogonus is entirely English in tone and atmosphere and as regards characters' names and allusions. He cites the alluions to Robin Hood and Maid Marian among his examples.

The "antike" in line 2 must be A "performer who plays a grotesque or ludicrous part, a clown, mountebank, or merry-andrew".[3] Given the alternatives of "antike", monster, "munke", "goblinge", "finde", "hobbye horse" and "tumblinge beare", there is little doubt "robin hoode" is thought of as a character in some kind of performance in a festive context. The mention of a monk would seem to suggest a May game morris dance, but in the post-Reformation period, popular (mostly pre-Reformation) entertainments tended to be connected with "Popery", and quite possibly the monk was included simply to suggest this connection.


MS sources



Also see


  1. Bond, Richard Warwick, ed. Early Plays from the Italian (Oxford, 1911), p. 186 (Act I, sc. iii, ll. 1-9), and see p. 306.
  2. Bond. op. cit., p. xci
  3. OED 2, s.n. antic, a. and n., 4.B.4.