X hits on this document

77 views

0 shares

0 downloads

0 comments

19 / 21

finale of Beaumarchais’ Marriage of Figaro_and caps it all off with a reference to the authority of the ancients. During the sorting-out process, she

mercial activities (intratge) to make some of her points. The text could be read as an erotic presen-

tation of the

mgan

(deceit) of the oaths, pointedly

makes it clear that as a

vilana

she can only love a

answered. Some of the language is as appropriate

vilan,

and by pronouncing the word

vilana,

she

to political/social

  • -

    or, more appropriately per-

t a k e s u p o n h e r s e l f h e r t r u e i d e n t i t y , d i s m i s s i n g would force completely the identity the

knight

upon her. In the face of her wisdom, the folly of the knight collapses, and the two separate with a

haps for Marcabru, moralistic/social - contexts as to poetic ones. The court at Poitiers certainly knew strong female figures, among whom one could

count

Philippa ofToulouse,

the wife of

W&&n

IX

exchange: the knight loses control and reveals both his true feelings and his inability to “read”

cart

the

vikzna;

she responds with an enigmatic proverb

which leaves her in command of the field.47

In this

pastorela

we have a very powerful

woman’s voice opposed to the voice of the knight. The dialogue establishes an exchange between the interlocutors in a relationship of near near because in the last analysis, the knight’s bungling overtures are no match for the shepherdess’s biting wit. One can certainly argue that the shepherdess, not the knight, is the pro- tagonist of Marcabru’s ideas. The concepts of moderation and natural good sense opposed lust and the veneer of courtliness are typical of Marcabru. Speaking through the voice of a woman allows Marcabru to attack knights directly

equahty

to

equality-

and mother of William X. Indeed, William X sometimes styled himself as “William whose mother was of Toulouse.“49 It is hard to believe that William’s daughter Eleanor played no role at court. She was born circa 1122 and left the court to marry Louis VII of France in 1137, the year her died on a pilgrimage to Compostela. Marcabru re- ceived patronage at court during the years of

f$ther

Eleanor’s youth; he, too,

left

Poitiers in

1137. It

seems clear

thar

Marcabru knew Eleanor; one of his

songs has been interpreted as a criticism of her con-

duct during the Second

Crusade.sO

In these cir-

cumstances, it seems not coo great an exaggeration

to posit a

“true”

female voice, the kind of voice

Marcabru might have heard at court, as a “model”

for the imagined

vilma.

This opens the way

to

a

subtler reading of the song

&n

is possible when

and noble ladies by contrast.

Can we relate this imagined female voice to voices of real women? The case of the knight is perhaps instructive. Nicolo Pasero has persuasively argued from intertextual allusions that the “model” for the knight in the poem is William IX , The criticism of knights in the first

troubadour.48

the song becomes specific as well as general. We cannot point to any lady who could be the “real” But as has often been noticed, the sometimes speaks as a “courtly” lady: she uses the vocabulary of oaths (lines 64-66) and of com-

vilana

vihza.

the shepherdess is reduced to a mere male fantasy. We may see a moral lesson given by a powerful fe- male figure to those in her society. The lesson is given both by example and by rhetoric: the behaves as a courtly lady ought to behave; the an- swers she gives to the knight are couched in lan- guage a noble lady could well have used. Deception and treachery in the moral sphere are clearly re- buked, as they would be also in the political sphere. The argument that “real” women’s voices may be

vilana

heard through Marcabru’s

pactorela

adds another

layer of meaning to an already rich song.

4 7 . C r i t i c s h a v e e m p h a s i z e d t h e i m p o r t a n c e o f t h e f o l l y v e r s u s w i s d o m t h e m e f o r t h i s s o n g . S e e H a r v e y , M a r c a b r u a n d L o v e

,

IIZ,

and William D.

Paden,

“Reading

Pastourelles,”

Tmo

4 (1988): 7.

48. Nicolo Pasero,

“Pastora contra cavaliere, Marcabruno contra Guglielmo

IX

-

Fenomeni di

intertestualit&

in

L;zutierjostirna

cabnmo,”

4 (1980):

sebisa (BdT 293,30),” Cultura Neokztina L’lmmagine rzifkssa

43 (1983):

347-64.

gz.5.

See also Pasero,

“Sulla collocazione sociolenetia della ‘pastorela’

de

Mar-

49.

D. D. R. Owen in his recent biography, Eleanor

ofAquitaiw

Queen

andLgend(Oxford:

Blackwell,

1993)

calls attention to

“the perhaps surprisingly active role played by women in the

Poitiers/Aquitaine

line”

(6).

In the light of more recent research on

both southern and northern France, one may clearly recognize the important role played by women at Poitiers, but not think of

50.

Marcabm andlove, chaprer

it as surprising. Harvey,

6:

“Cortesiaand

the Example of Eleanor

ofAquiraine.”

43

FREDRIcLcHFYEmE& htARGARET!SWITTEN

Women in Troubadour Song

Document info
Document views77
Page views77
Page last viewedFri Dec 09 17:39:40 UTC 2016
Pages21
Paragraphs2496
Words14772

Comments