William Dunbar: The Tretis of the Tua Mariit Wemen and the Wedo [The Treatise of the Two Married Women and the Widow]

(2448 words)


The Tretis of the Tua Mariit Wemen and the Wedo is the Scottish poet William Dunbar’s longest and, in some ways, most provocative poem. The artful and lewd Tretis explores the relationships between men and women, voyeurism and eavesdropping, appearance and conduct, romance and fabliau, gossip and confession, and orality and literacy. It both satirizes women’s duplicity and subverts male authority, and also evokes conflicting responses about which one of these is more central to the poem’s substance. The poem is written in alliterative long lines and combines elements of the medieval debate poem, the flyting, the chanson de mal mariée, and the mock confession (like Chaucer&r…

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Matlock, Wendy A.. "The Tretis of the Tua Mariit Wemen and the Wedo". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 24 November 2010
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=7976, accessed 06 July 2015.]