Thus, all the characters on the stage are figuratively cuckolds, knowingly or unknowingly.
This focus on the audience brings me back to my overarching concern about the dance of the cuckolds and the audience.
Through it, the audience discover that they have been the cuckolds of the play, thinking themselves Horners when they are in fact Pinchwifes, and that this cuckolding is not only in the theater but outside it as well.
Pinchwife's claim of "knowingness" reveals his suspicion that all married men threaten to become cuckolds.
At the end of The London Cuckolds, the cuckolds resign themselves to having been bested, although they avoid the more serious consequence by, it seems, agreeing to forget what they have figured out about their wives.
Legend has it that King Charles joined the dance of the cuckolds at the end of the play.
These days we turn out cuckolds
by the score - one man in two is married to a whore," he confides.
More prebcisely, he makes the following point: in the vernacular "koekoek" (cuculus) is used to denote cuckolds, whereas in ancient Latin "curruca" is so used; in ancient Latin "cuculus" referred to adulterers: "Nostra tempestate cuculos vocat vulgus quorum vxores alii possident, verum Iuuenalis eiusmodi maritum currucam vocat .
Students of the Dutch language may find it interesting that whereas Renaissance authors such as Constantijn Huygens use "koeckoeck" alternately in the sense of cuckold and adulterer, Erasmus was evidently unfamiliar with the latter use in his mother tongue.
32): "Men Spot metten cochuyt ende cucurra" ("One mocks the cuckold and the |cucurra'").