In the N-Town plays, Joseph formally plays the thankless role of an "olde cokwold," fully immersed in the genre of fabliau ("the Frensche gyse
Alas, why playnen men so in comune That yeueth hem full ofte in many a gyse
well better then hem selfe can devyse Some man desvreth to haue rychesse That cause is of her murdre or sycknesse And some man wolde out of hys prisson fayne That in hys house, is of hys meyne slayne Infinite harmes bene in thys matere We wote nat what thynge we prayen here We faren as he, that dronke is as a mouse Al dronken man wote well, he hath an house But he wote nat, whych the ryght waye thyder And to a dronken man the waye is slyder And certes in thys worlde so faren we We seken fast afire felicite But we go wronge ful ofte truly.
In Mankind, Myscheff serves as a sort of master of the Vices' ceremonies, with Nought, Nowadays, and New Gyse
comprising a virtual guild of Vices.
Hummelen points out that "sinnekens,' comparable to the English "tempter" vices and perhaps more consistent, are a "key feature of the dramatic structure of Rederijker drama." (4) So if such characters actually represent a shared element between the English and Rederijker traditions, where then are "Myscheff," "Nowadays, "Nought," or "New Gyse