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are sung by knight and shepherdess, respec- tively, in regular alternation to begin stanzas. The participants in the dialogue are defined by each other through the forms of address they use to carry the debate forward. To be sure, the entire de- bate is the creation of the one who initially “found” (“trobei”) the adventure. But precisely this circumstance allows us to perceive an ambi- guity of male voice: that of the knight who will subsequently be identified as such in relation to the shepherdess, and that of the poet who origi- nated the

song.@

This differentiation permits a sharper delin-

eation of the poet’s stance and a more

nuanced

in-

terpretation of the song, particularly as regards the shepherdess. A simple identification of the poet Marcabru with knight-implicit or undergirds arguments that Marcabru in this song is trying to elevate himself to a higher status and fails or that the feminine figure is an “other” that serves merely to explore masculine The perception we are listening to more than one male voice-the knight’s story told by the knight and the poet’s manipulation of male and female characters-invites different views. It be- comes appropriate to ask what may appear to be a simplistic question: Who was the poet? Who was Marcabru? As mentioned above, we cannot be sure. The Old Occitan vidas describe Marcab as being of humble origins, perhaps illegitimate. Recent scholarship has characterized him as an ed- ucated possibly a If he was not a he at least does not seem to have been a knight. We may posit a distinction of class between the poet and the knight in the song as well as a distinction of outlook. In other songs, Marcabru

vikzn,

souddier,

jogkzr.44

the

that

explicit-

eroticism.43

has sharp words for wayward knights and

adul-

terous ladies. His attitude is not unlike that of moralizing chroniclers or clerics such as Orderic

Vitalis

or Etienne de

Fougeres,

both of whom

wrote in the twelfth century, the former in Nor- mandy, the latter in Brittany. The knight in the

is clearly bent on seduction; the poet is more than likely critical of such activity. The re- sulting irony -a knight unaware of how foolish he is and a poet poking fun at his was surely not lost on the poet’s audience. And

pastorela

foolishness- I+

the distinction between knight and poet allows the shepherdess to emerge in sharper relief. Although it is the knight who is presented as telling the story, so that within the fiction of the song, the shepherdess’s words are mediated and not reported directly, still it is the poet who has in- vented the story, The shepherdess consequently takes on a certain independence with respect to

nally,

the knight

  • -

    she, too, fully realizes what a bum-

bling seducer he is. The perception of a layered narrative voice allows us to see the two

double-

characters in the their creator.

pactorela

as equally creatures of

With that perception in mind, let us now look

more closely at the

vilam.

She is, as has often been

remarked, a quite remarkable woman. Her mas- terful use of proverb and rhetoric is, of course, Marcabru’s mastery. The question then is: what ru does she represent and to what end is she made to

deploy such debating skills?

The

vilam

is first of all a cheerful and healthy

young girl: “alegreta sui e

sana,”

line 14. But there

is more than physical health. In another poem,

Marcabru speaks of the “votz

sana”

(the healthy

voice) of the bird preparing to sing a mating song.

the word

refers to a kind of spiritual

In the crusading song “Pax in

“sau”

nomine Domini,” purifi-

42..

A number of scholars have hinted at this differentiation without fully considering its importance especially for the shepherdess.

See, for example, James J. Wilhelm,

Troubadours: The

(University Park The Pennsylvania State Uni-

Saii,

Proveqal Vh+$cation

Creators ofModern Vme “Marcabru’s P’ure~&: Gxutly MedievalLove 1985), Michel Studies

Lapastourelkrpoksie etfokfore

(Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society,

(1974): 390;

Frank M. Chambers, Old au

1970),

l’bilo@yr7 1976), 75;

Prospero

Love Decoded,”

in

Lyric (The Hague: Mouton,

60.

Zink,

Poiesis: The

Seven Fantazzi,

Poet and the Poem in

versity Press,

Personae and

83; Charles

??X?yen 2ge

(Paris: Bordas,

1972), 53-56,

does point out the atypically favorable role given to the shepherdess.

43. See Joan M. Ferrante, “Male Fantasy and Female Reality in Courtly Literature,”

WomemjStudiesrI

(1984): 67-97; Cholakian,

Troubadour

Lyris,

75.

4. R

Early

Marcabm

L..

N. B. Goddard, “The and Love, chapter

Troubadours and the Latin Tradition” (Ph.D. diss., Oxford University,

1985), 62-69;

Harvey,

+

FREDRICLC~& MARGARETSWITTEN

Women in Troubadour Song

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