With the early growth of monarchal absolutism in England, professional acting troupes established themselves. These dramatists of a 'new secular seriousness' act in the shadow of waning Catholic cycle plays controlled by the church. By Shakespeare's time, professional acting troupes are forces of economic production.
Specifically, "Take My Coxcomb" analyzes the ways in which the clowns affect three aspects of Shakespeare's comedies: clowns as markers of changes in audience humor from portrayals of court fool to rustic simpleton, clowns as economic barometers to the financial bonds and social/economic relationships with in their plays, and the expansion of comic devices for clowns that reflect directly Shakespeare's comic development. It is out of the scripting of clowns' roles that these three concerns construct Shakespeare's theatrical microcosm of service in late feudal England and its move toward proto-capitalist economics.