‘Ladeis Bewtie … Luiffis Blys’
Unlike Chaucer, who was described as a ‘womanis frend’, William Dunbar never took great interest in women. Most of his poetry is not primarily concerned with them. It is man who is frequently admonished in his moral poems and the state of man is their chief theme. This chapter focuses on the few yet interesting poems of Dunbar on women, among which is The Tua Mariit Wemen and the Wedo. Dunbar is not highly esteemed as a love poet but he was neither indifferent to the alliance between love and ladies, beauty and bliss. Dunbar's few poems on women and love display his characteristic variety, comprising lyrics and narratives, a beast fable and dream poems, and poems on seduction and courtship. He writes of the pain and comedy of love as if he was involved, sometimes on the viewpoint of Christian morality, but he is frequently detached from his poems: he was neither a participant nor a critic but an amused and ironic observer of the game of love.
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