Like unto Like
Playlists in Philip Henslowe's diary
Fol. 83 (Greg, I.131)
My Lordes of penbrockes men begane to playe at the Rosse the 28 of octobȝ 1600 as followeth [Red at] Red at the [devell] lice vnto licke......xjs 6d
"Like unto Like" was performed at the Rose playhouse by the earl of Pembroke's men in 1600.
Possible Narrative and Dramatic Sources or Analogues
Wiggins, Catalogue (#1074) suggests that this play "might just possibly be identified with Like Will to Like, quoth the Devil to the Collier, offering as context that "there was a fashion for old morals in 1600."
References to the Play
Collier, noting the strike-out of "devell," suggested that the play was an "adaptation of Ulpian Fulwell's comic interlude, or moral-play, printed in 1568" called Lie will to Like, quod the Devil to the collier (p. 181, n.2).
Fleay, BCED said nothing of the lost play itself but hinted that its title was "the foundation of Collier's forged entry of Like quits Like [Hoffman], as if rewritten by Chettle and Heywood Aug. 1602— Jan. 1603" (2.#211).
Greg II (p. 228 #261) showed little doubt in associating this play with Fulwell's old one (providing its S. R. date of 1568-9); he was also confident that Pembroke's 1600 version had been "greatly alered from the printed version."
Wiggins, Catalogue (#1074) creates more space between the Fulwell piece (which he notes was "reprinted in 1587") and Pembroke's item textually but not so much narratively, nonetheless asserting that "any play using that proverb" would have the devil as a character. He then links the Rose offering with contemporary repertories, especially the children's companies, where there was an interest in updating the old moral play formula.
For What It's Worth
Plays indebted to the formula of early Elizabethan moral plays are to be found in the repertory of the Chamberlain's men as well, viz. the two-part "Seven Deadly Sins", including "Cloth Breeches and Velvet Hose."
Site created and maintained by Roslyn L. Knutson, Professor Emerita, University of Arkansas at Little Rock; updated 7 December 2020.