The target audience of Hilliarg's work was obvious from the very start. It called on the bachelors and married men who can relate to the narrator's desolate state - a man who spends his whole day working to earn a living; and, at night instead of going home to a place where he can rest his mind and body he finds a jealous, suspicious, and nagging wife.
Reading Hilliarg's work is a bit humorous and semi-tragic tragic because the protagonist has to go through all the misery in his entire married life. He even cited every detail of his misfortune (e.g. while he was sweating out in the field his wife spends her day gossiping).
However, the woman's attitude can be explained in Mario DiGangi's (1997) book on The Homoerotics of Early Modern Drama. In DiGangi's analysis he drew on the insights of materialist, feminist and odd theory. In this era, men ordinarily toil for his family but the demanding women are likewise illuminated particularly the mannish women.
Although Hilliarg's original target audiences are the male species, I believe The Cruell Shrow was enjoyed even by women, especially the women who take pleasure in controlling their husband and those who would want to be in charge of their would-be husband's.
Contrary to Hilliarg's work is the Pleasant New Songe of a Jovial Tinker published on 1616 by an unknown author. ...