Thersites in Elizabethan Literature

Nicholas Udall, Thersytes (London: William Tysdale, 1562):

Thys Enterlude Folowynge Dothe Declare howe that the greatest boesters are not the greatest doers. (Title)

Thersites. A boster. (The names of the players)

Thersites commeth in fyrste hauinge a clubbe vppon his necke.
He goeth in to his shop, and maketh a sallet for hym at the laste he sayth.
[Mulciber.]  Here Thersites do this sallet weare
And on thy head it beare
And none shall worke the care
Then Mulciber goeth into his shop, vntyll he is called agayne.
Thersites.   ¶ Now woulde I not feare with anye bull to fyghte
Or with a raumpinge lyon nother by daye nor nyghte
O What greate strength is in my body so lusty
Whiche for lacke of exercise, is nowe almost rustye.

When I consider my shoulders that so brode be
When the other partes of my  bodye I do beholde
I verely thynke that none in chrystente
With me to medele dare be so bolde
O good lorde howe brode is my brest
And stronge with all for hole is my chest
He that should medle with me shall haue shrewde rest
Beholde you my handes, my legges and my feete
Euery parte is stronge proportionable and mete

Would not thy blacke and rustye grym berde
Nowe thou art so armed, make anye man aferde
Surely if Iupiter dyd see the in this gere
He woulde renne awaye and hyde hym for feare
He wold thinke that Typhoeus the gyaunt were aliue
And his brother Enceladus, agayn with him to striue
If that Mars of battell the god stoute and bold
In this aray shoulde chaunce the to beholde
He would yelde vp his sworde vnto the
And god of battayle (he would say) thou shouldest be.

Here a snaile muste appere vnto him, and hee muste loke fearefully vppon the snaile saienge
But what a  monster do I see nowe
Comminge hetherwarde with an armed browe
And he begynth to fight with him, but Thersites must ren awaye, and hyde hym behynde hys mothers backe. 

Raphael Holinshed, A Playne and Perfect Description of Irelande, in The Chronicles of England, Scotlande, and Irelande (London: John Hunne, 1577):

If Alexander were so raisht with Homer hys hystorie, that notwithstanding  Thersites were a crabbed and a rugged dwarfe, being in outwarde feature so deformed, and in inwarde conditions so croked, as he seemed to stande to no better stéede, then to leade Apes in hll, yet the valiaunt capitayne weighing, howe liuely the golden Poet set foorth the ougly dadeprat in his coulours, dyd sooner wyshe to be Homer his  Thersites, then to be the Alexander of that doltish rythmour, which vndertooke, with his woodden verses to blase his famous and martiall exploytes. (1)

John Banister, The Historie of Man (London: John Day, 1578):

As touchyng the naturall figure of the head…Galen sayth it should be round long wise, on eche side lightly compressed, so that the fore part and hinder part be eminent, or out stretchyng….All other sortes he iudgeth rather vnsmely, then naturall: of the chiefest, or most notable of them, he hath made a fourefold diuision. The first of which is quyte contrary to that we haue   nominated naturall, wanting both eminences of the head: that is the former & hinder out goyng: so that in déede is exquisitely round like a Sphere. Of like sort, as Homer reporteth one  Thersites to haue had: which figure, as it is cleane contrary to the naturall fashion, so it is a token of vnaptnes, and folly, hauyng therby the function of all vertues hindred. (6)

John Lyly, Euphues and his England (London: T. East for Gabriell Cawood, 1580):

Euphues séeing this fatherly and friendly Sire (whom we will name Fidus) to haue no lesse inwarde courtesis then outward comelynesse, coniectured (as wel he might) that the proffer of his bountie, noted the noblenesse of his birth, béeing well assured, that as no Thersites coulde be transformed into Vlisses, so no Alexander coulde bée couched in Damocles. (15)

Abraham Fraunce, The Arcadian Rhetorike (London Thomas Orwin, 1588):

Prosopopoia is a fayning of any person, when in our speach we represent the person of anie, and make it speake as though he were there present: an excellent figure, much vsed of Poets, wherein wee must diligentlie take heede, that the person thus represented haue a speach fit and conuenient for his estate and nature. A Prosopopoia is either perfect, or imperfect: imperfect, when the speach of some other person is but brought in by the way and lightlie and sleightlie represented…. The perfect Prosopopoeia is, when the whole speach of anie person is fully and liuely represented; wherin we must make both a fit and orderly accesse too, and regresse from the same Prosopopoeia. Homer 2. Iliad. describeth Thersites excellently, and there giueth him a fit speach for such a personage. (Cap. 31)

Jacques Hurault, Politicke, Moral, and Martial Discourses (), trans. Arthur Golding (London: Adam Islip, 1595):

Among the vices of Thersites, Homer blameth chiefly his ouermuch babling. (“CHAP. XIII. Of refraining a mans tongue,” 336)

Thomas Bastard, “In Thersiten,” in ΕΠΙΓΡΑΜΜΑΤΩΝ, in Chrestoleros (London: Richard Bradocke for John Broome, 1598):

Athough Thersites haue a filthy face,
And staring eyes, and little outward grace·
Yet this he hath to make amend's for all,
Nature her selfe is not more naturall. (1.35)