Gil Vicente (1465-1536) was Portugal’s greatest playwright. His work represents the coming together of the mediaeval with the Renaissance spirit. Vicente created a rich cast of characters and showed a great range of human expression. His writing ranged from a poetic portrayal of the most everyday bits of life and common events to a refined sense of religion and human values that he defended or satirized.
From the Boat of Hell:
Whosoever must live by the plough is dead. We are the life of people and the death of our own lives; to patient tyrants, who tooth and nail have eaten away at our souls. What is the point of idle chatter? Even should he wish to be a sinner, the ploughman has neither time nor place not even to wipe away the beads of his sweat.