Let the dead despair. Fine weather or foul, the dawn is always new. In a more practical and humorous treatment in idyll 10, the young Bucaeus is suffering horribly, deeply in love with a beautiful young girl whose absence has completely overwhelmed the young man. Put it into a song While you mow the field. You used to be a singer. However, a familiar topos in both later pictorial and literary representations of pastoral is the Tomb in Arcadia. Two shepherds, Menalcas and Mopsus, sing of Daphnis and his death.
Fair was my flock, but fairer I, their shepherd. Despite the reinvention, the sophistication and depth that Virgil brings to his pastoral poetry, one particular characteristic is repeated—dialogue. The oral tradition resurfaces in Virgil as it did in Theocritus. Eclogues II, IV, VI, and X are indirect yet, as is true of Theocritus, they are addressed clearly to another, not mere poetic contemplations of life and the nature of the world. Key to any dramatic work is the presence of the other, the audience.
How softly then would my bones repose, if in other days your pipes should tell my love! And oh that I had been one of you, the shepherd of a flock of yours, or the dresser of your ripened grapes! The setting is hence of central importance. The significance of nature and setting is established from the beginning. The nature of Arcadia longs for her own shepherds, echoes their songs, and plays a crucial role not only in their composition often their pipes are made of reed or other natural elements but also are ever-present within the poetic creation.
Arcadia and nature are active, not passive; there is active participation on the part of the natural world, an intense interaction between the shepherd and his surroundings. Is it Meliboeus? This awareness of previous compositions, considered common pastoral songs extends beyond intertextuality and suggests an unprecedented metaliteracy, an ultra-awareness of sources, the importance of sources, and self-referential nature that continues in later European pastoral.
In Arcadia nature acts as instructor, as the common chain connecting all poetic composition, as the ultimate master. The importance of belonging to Arcadia, of being one of her shepherds, is again emphasized in the seventh eclogue where both Thyrsis and Meliboeus refer to each other as Arcadians in their song 67, Written into the forest itself is a reminder of his love, a love that he is destined not to share since he is preparing to part from the woods, wishing them farewell.
This sadness and the juxtaposition it poses to nature are discussed eloquently by Panofsky. In the final eclogue, the narrator shepherd- poet recounts the words of others—the emotions of his characters fill his song, his words evoking the actions and deeds of a mythic past. The final lines here cited hint at the presence of an audience, listening to his poem, to his dramatic recitation, the multiplicity of which is clear only if one understands the dramatic nature of the scene.
Once more orality finds itself at the center of the pastoral experience. There seems to be an inescapable link between the bucolic, idyllic setting of the pastoral and the themes of menace, death, and discontent, an intrinsic quality of theatre—the creation of tension and conflict in conjunction with spectacle and recitation, practically the definition of theatre. The importance and influence of Virgil for the Middle Ages and the Christian authors, both lay and clerics, cannot be overstated.
Domenico Comparetti, in his seminal study Virgilio nel Medio Evo, underlines the importance of Virgil and to a lesser degree Ovid in the medieval period to anyone interested in literature Despite the divide between those who condemned and those who praised the reading of Virgil and the other classical, pagan writers, many on both sides recommended reading Virgil Just as Virgil guides Dante through hell and purgatory, he guided the authors of pastoral, in particular Sannazaro.
While I have examined these elements with regard not only to Virgil and Theocritus but also with regard to the earlier tradition, it is my intention now to study them in relation to the medieval pastoral tradition. Typically, the medieval is kept separate and there seems to be a gap in most studies, leaving the medieval to one side as something completely separate.
While it might be challenging to examine the medieval pastoral for various reasons, I propose that such an analysis is key to understanding the development of the pastoral ideal in France and Italy. The first is the genesis of the mode itself, of the imaginary creation that is Pastoral. The second key element, one often overlooked by scholars, is the development of this classical pastoral mode in the vernacular. This second element is crucial because without this step there would have been no Arcadia, no Aminta, and no pastoral as it is today; it would merely have remained an obscure instance of classical literature that found vogue among humanists in Latin and Greek.
In the French and Italian context the medieval texts provide the link to the Renaissance creations on classical modes. Most studies tend to overlook the medieval period and the development of pastoral therein, either skipping from the classical period straight to the Renaissance or incorporating authors like Petrarch and Boccaccio into early Renaissance models, a consideration that clashes with the reality that these authors, although key to the development of humanism in the Renaissance and definitely belonging to a proto-Renaissance classification, are medieval authors.
I hope to rectify this gap in current scholarship by examining the medieval vernacular pastoral. Using these criteria, I will examine three authors in particular who wrote texts from diverse genres in the medieval period to establish the oral and dramatic quality of these instances of pastoral as well as how the motif of loss is incorporated. Moreover, the metaliterary conscience of the authors will be examined through their pastoral expression. This is not meant to be an exhaustive examination—that has been done elsewhere in part see, for example, Geri L.
The first two authors composed pastourelles. The reason behind this choice is relatively simple—these are the authors who were most prolific of those known for having composed pastourelles. Riquier composed a unified cycle of six pastorelas. Erart is the most prolific of the known French authors, his offerings numbering ten. Moreover, he hails from Arras, the same literary and cultural milieu as Adam de la Halle, another important innovator in medieval French pastoral.
The majority of pastourelles, in particular those in French, are anonymous. Of the identified authors, many in French and Occitan composed only one or two, perhaps because they were in vogue, and went on to compose other poetic forms. The infrequency of composition does not necessarily detract from the richness of the offering. However, a higher frequency of pastourelles relatively short poetic compositions by a particular author translates to a more interested and dedicated experimentation in that genre and within the mode itself.
Rather than choosing haphazardly a variety of pastourelles I have chosen to limit the study to those composed by Riquier and Erart. They both manipulated the genre beyond mere experimentation. They did not merely make a brief jaunt into the pastoral woods—they stayed and frolicked, if you will. My observations will serve, I hope, as a model for examining other pastourelles. In the Italian tradition there is no well-defined and well-practiced or prolific genre.
Paden notes but five pastorelle. Because the eclogues were written in Latin I have chosen to leave them aside. From this point forward, Pastoral does find expression in the vernacular and that is the guiding principle of this study. These three authors whose works cover roughly one hundred years from to exemplify pastoral experimentation in the Middle Ages and can contribute greatly to our understanding of this period and the development of pastoral in the Renaissance.
The following section offers an overview of the pastourelle, the pastoral genre most prolific in France in the medieval period. It is in the latter that the prototype of the most common manifestation of the pastoral mode in the Middle Ages surfaces: the pastorela Fr. Critical study of this genre is prolific, so I will confine my efforts to a brief introduction and then an analysis of certain texts with regard to their place in pastoral as a mode.
Awareness of the Latin model i. It is not my purpose here to suggest that these examples of pastoral stem directly from the Latin and the Greek; rather, I consider them instances where the universal tendency towards pastoral has once more surfaced in the Western imagination and the medieval predisposition to rewriting facilitated pastoral composition. This is not to say that there is no creation in the medieval period—merely a tendency to remain within certain genre boundaries and rework or reference earlier manifestations.
Then, once the genre began to gain in popularity it began to more fully define itself and, following the medieval tradition, imitated and reinvented. Simply stated, the pastourelle is a poem comprising of a dialogue between a knight and a shepherdess. The knight happens upon the shepherdess in a bucolic setting and in most instances attempts to seduce her. He is not always successful, but there is often the threat of violence the knight threatens to have his way with her.
The shepherdess often exhibits a quick wit and the dialogue offers an interesting contrast between knight male of higher social class and shepherdess female peasant. William Paden is best known for his work on the pastourelle and his excellent two volume anthology, The Medieval Pastourelle, is an indispensable guide for the reader. She offers an excellent overview of the critical work surrounding the genre and examines three authors in particular as examples of late transformations within the genre of pastourelle: Adam de la Halle, Jean Froissart, and Christine de Pizan.
E potz li metre altre nom de pastora, segons lo bestiar que guardara. And this genre is easy to understand, and you can compose six or eight couplets accompanied by a new tune or one already used Pastorela es un dictatz que pot haver. Pastorela requier tostemps noel so plazen e gay, no pero ta lonc cum vers o chansos, ans deu haver so un petit cursori e viacier. Zink 26 The definition of the pastorela: The pastorela is a poem that can have six, eight, ten, or more strophes, that is, however many seem agreeable to the author, so long as it does not surpass thirty.
It must make use of tricks in order to be entertaining. And it is most urgent that in this genre of composition we must be careful—given that here we sin more than in other genres—to not use words that are vulgar or ugly and to not give over to any villainous action.
For we can have a man and a woman argue and tease one another without saying or doing anything vile or dishonest. The pastourelle always requires a new melody, pleasant and gay, less ample than that of the vers of the canso but that must have 16 My translation. While the second definition is more detailed and underlines the importance of morality in the pastourelle, both emphasize the use of dialogue and the centrality of the spoken interaction between the knight the first-person male narrator aligned with the Self and the shepherdess identified as the Other , represented in poetic form.
Whereas in the classical model the shepherd is identified with the poetic self here the pastoral representative is placed apart. And yet, she does speak, she has a poetic voice, more extensive in some examples than in others, but she shares in the creative process. She is at once Other and Self. The other key element in the definitions is that the pastorela be entertaining and pleasing. Inherent, then, is the concept of performance since music is to accompany the text. One does not include music merely to read it. These were performative texts, and this last characteristic is one that tends to be overlooked but its importance cannot be overstated.
Performance and orality are core to the transmission of the texts, and thus core to these manifestations of the pastoral mode. Finally, there is another aspect to note: the poem always depicts the opposition between man and woman, where they must battle through their speech in a contest of wits. This tendency to juxtapose opposites is a recurring theme within the mode, as discussed earlier See Part I, Chapter 1 , and contributes to the dramatic tension implicit in the vignette.
He identifies five key elements: 17 My translation. The mode is pastoral, commonly realized in a country setting and in the description of the heroine as a shepherdess. The cast includes a man and a young woman. The plot comprises a discovery and an attempted seduction. The rhetoric involves both narrative and dialogue. The point of view is that of the man. Over half are in French ix. Smith also recognizes the importance of historical and cultural context when examining the pastourelle 2.
In these pastourelles, dialogue plays a dominant role in the transmission of the mode. Once more the oral tradition at the root of the pastoral mode surfaces. Moreover, it is a core constituent of the genre. Each pastourelle plays out like a small scene in a large pastoral wood. Little is known of him aside from what he himself tells us in his vidas. Saulnier notes that he is among those early troubadours who developed the concept of courtly love This would indicate that the setting is a bit out of the ordinary and reminds us that this is a prototype rather than a confirmed expression of the genre.
In the second strophe, as is typical of later manifestations of the genre, the dialogue begins.
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When she responds that she is in good health, he replies that she needs companionship to watch her flock. Rather, it ends with her final rebuke.
It is up to the reader to decide the fate of the shepherdess. While the Occitan poets tend to have their knights locked in witty debate with the shepherdess, the French poets are more varied in the reaction of the knight—he may leave or he may force his way. If courtly behavior fails to attain the desired result, brute force does not.
In each encounter Gravdal sees a forced union indicative of rape, a rape that she argues tends to be ignored even by scholars today, and the rape is linked to the social status of the characters. Her argument seems a bit specious and at times, strangely enough, contrary to her own ideology, however her point is interesting. The pastoral disguise, according to Gravdal, masks a deeper social tension: […] the opposition between the two characters in the pastourelle is, at one level, the struggle between social equals: the poet who is in many cases, an aristocrat, and signs his texts , and the lady of the court.
They are engaged in a deadlock struggle, in the pastourelle: she for her dignity, her voice, her autonomy, he for his right to control, to dominate, to master, to rape. Paden cites evidence that indicates that sexual liaison outside the city walls is reminiscent of the status of prostitution that also took place outside the city walls. The union described in the pastourelle does not always end in violence. Paden affirms that the pastourelle can also express love, real love. These poems are tempered by the self-awareness of the poems as part of a poetic genre.
Thus, [T]he French genre in which sexual aggressiveness is expressed through rape became possible because it was accompanied by repressive devices which made rape generic, imported, unreal—in a word, poetic, and therefore acceptable in the polite society in which lyric poetry was composed and consumed. The compensating force of repression dominates other versions of the tale and produces a characteristic effect of cultural eccentricity or marginality. These poems seem to protest, even while singing artfully of seduction, quasi- prostitution, or rape, that such behavior occurs only in faraway places.
These are both traits inherent within pastoral— escape from society, from its conventions, from what is usual and quotidian and the contradictions expressed therein. So where does the reader fit in? As Duval points out, many manuscripts in the medieval period were copied to be seen more than to be read. Olivia Holmes also notes that transmission of the troubadour lyric in the twelfth and thirteenth century had been oral and it was not until the end of the period that poetic books were actually assembled Assembling the Lyric Self 1. Often they listened to the poem or the story told by a jongleur.
Even the women listening to the pastourelles would have found more in common with the knight than with a supposed peasant, despite her gender. Thus, the pastourelle invites the readers to take an active part in the dialogue, identifying themselves with the knight and the poet, viewing the shepherdess as the Other, an unknown quantity. However, this Other at times shares attributes with the beloved in the courtly love lyric or in the romance. She is eloquent and, while observing a difference in social class with the knight, she speaks in a manner that recalls the wit and grace of the lady.
Having her speak as a peasant might have spoken would not have followed the first part of the requirements. Nonetheless, there are similarities between the shepherdess and her noble counterpart that cannot be ignored. She attracts the eye of the knight, as does the lady. She has a certain power over the knight, as does the lady. The difference is the way in which the knight reacts. He is able to take liberties here in this pastoral setting that he would not have been able to do otherwise. He desires the lady but he cannot have her—either she outranks him socially, is not interested and is thus portrayed as cold and callous , or she is already married to another, making any real union impossible.
In the pastourelle, however, it is the knight, not the object of his desire, who has the upper hand. He can not only long for her, he can actually have her. Moreover, in this setting away from the civilized rules of court, the poet experiences a freedom foreign to medieval sensibilities. I propose that the pastourelle functions as not only entertainment but as a manner of release for the poet—a way to explore an alternate reality, completely removed from his own, an escapism characteristic of the mode itself.
Whichever it may be, the audience is placed immediately in an intimate setting. Once one enters the fictional woods, one must take part in the action. Furthermore, the author has written a detailed counterpoint, and if one were to evaluate the contest of wits, the shepherdess excels. This assessment might be due to our own modern sensibilities. She often maintains her place and reminds the knight of his own. The shepherdess challenges the audience, provoking one to reconsider the traditional roles assigned to the characters, to look beyond the pastoral disguise.
Geneva: Library Droz, There is a general lack of articles and studies, a fact noted even in by Newcombe 9. Erart belonged to a group of poets from Arras in Northern France. The literary production of this group was very important for the development of the medieval French lyric 9.
Medieval Arras was a vital and prosperous commercial center, known for the textile industry and for banking Langley 61, Fossier In the midst of these two prosperous commercial banking cities great pastoral authors arose, examining life through idyllic eyes. Arras in the thirteenth century was not only an increasingly cosmopolitan urban landscape; it was also a site where the vernacular was becoming dominant. Carol Symes explains that Arras was: [A] world in which the newly consolidated power of emerging monarchies was balanced by the mercantile power of independent towns situated within international trading networks, where vernacular literacy was beginning to challenge the hegemony of Latin, and when the production of written records was transforming the ways that people in a predominantly oral society communicated with one another.
Adam de la Halle wrote the Jeu de Robin et Marion, the first pastoral play. Critics believe Adam de la Halle was likely born in the mid thirteenth century and likely died between and Schwam-Baird xii. It is thought that he composed the play during his stay in Italy while in the service of Robert II, count of Artois. This theory cannot be sustained but it is generally accepted Schwam-Baird xv, Smith Once more Southern Italy, and Naples in particular, plays host to the pastoral. Smith who has completed an in-depth analysis of the work The majority of the pastourelles six out of eleven can be found in Paris, B.
The others are found in numerous manuscripts Newcombe Additionally, they seem to call upon the motifs common to the pastoral mode quite often—the prevalence of music, the shepherdess singing, playing the typical pastoral instruments the flute, the pipe , depicted as one with the natural environment. While it is an invaluable source regarding technique, there is no thematic examination or analysis and the remarks on the individual poetic compositions are brief and predominantly technical or related to the manuscripts. Newcombe has not offered any translations either into French or English.
The reason why Paden did not include the other pastourelles that Erart wrote is unclear. I hope to elaborate the study of Erart by offering an interpretive analysis of the pastourelles. Not only is there the requisite dialogue throughout—there is often reference to music, either that the shepherdess is singing or playing an instrument or both.
Erart, as is common with the other poets, gives his shepherdess a voice, and she uses it. While she is being watched without her knowledge, Erart seems to be modeling through the knight what the medieval audience would do when the jongleur sings the pastourelle. The element of performance and spectacle, albeit supposedly inadvertent, recalls the nature of the text.
These common items of the pastoral mode situate the work clearly within the larger tradition. Moreover, these details all contribute to the musicality, underlining the accompaniment that Newcombe sees as essential to the understanding of the work. Orality, in the form of music and dialogue, is central in inciting the action. The poem takes place during the traditional springtime setting—May, as the shepherdess informs us in her song v. This indeterminate setting in the not too distant past is characteristic of the pastourelle and again acknowledges the distance and separation between the present telling and the past action of the poem.
It is not, however, too distant or too far in the past. Rather than a golden age far removed from the unpleasantness of the contemporary, the medieval pastourelle revels in it; the knight need never wander too far away from his present to come upon the pastoral woods. Everything about the experience emphasizes that it is a brief sojourn into another world, one at once familiar to the medieval audience and indeterminate or foreign in that it is outside the walls and thus beyond the reach of the court and the law.
The knight appears then, encouraging her to leave Robin and to choose him instead as a lover, promising much, although what exactly is not specified. There is no rape here. There is talk of remaining lovers. He feels as though he were in paradise when with her. The mention of the sacred in relation to the profane is an interesting combination and it underlines the depth of feeling, even if only in the moment. Loss 20 Robin was a typical name used for the shepherd in the French pastourelle, just as Marion was a very common name for the shepherdess.
There is a multiplicity of meaning, underlining the act of composing the poem and hinting at a metaliterary awareness on the part of the poet when he writes the pastourelle. The reference might even be self-referential, recalling his own composition. Smith highlights the most common forms of bribe: clothing, money, and promises of marriage The primary is of course persuasion. Such an offering, which today seems meaningless at best, at the time might well have been considered very fair, and indeed such is the reaction of some of the shepherdesses.
That he asks for something in return might seem to undermine this, however through largesse the seigneur ultimately hopes to gain and maintain allegiance and loyalty, necessary to survival in a feudal society. Returning to our poem, the knight proposes she love him in return, or at least be willing to offer recompense. The exchange seems commercial to our modern sensibilities, but one must remember context.
In any case, the offer seems to work. Once more the loss of the shepherd Robin turns to profit for the wandering knight. This structurally recalls the preceding pastourelle. His introduction is made through material goods.
She tries to remind him of the clear social and class differences between them as well as tell him that she has a lover, the missing Robin. However, Robin is not completely absent from the tale. In fact, her protests seem to spur him on. She has the last say, and the last say is powerful. The effect on the modern reader is a bit chilling and sad. Perhaps here we can read a warning about the dangers of a wandering knight, one who clearly does not recall any of the rules of courtly love, rules that would not apply in the strictest sense to a non-noble but that should dictate the conduct of the noble.
Here, on the margins of civilization in the pastoral wood, the knight finds the opportunity to ignore the rules that, by escaping the trappings of the court, he no longer feels bound to obey. In many of the pastourelles the shepherdess seems to be already promised to another shepherd and the knight, either by force or by her choice concession , often takes her away. This leads to two considerations: one, there is an inherent danger for the shepherd who leaves his shepherdess alone without supervision.
Women left alone in the woods, away from the protection of the court, are often in danger in medieval literature. They are beyond the safety of civilization. Taken as representative of the fictional process, once more there is peril when a woman is depicted alone beyond the protection of a space that has been civilized by man, either a garden or a city or a castle. The shepherd is lax in his duties, therefore unworthy of her companionship.
However, more seems to be said about the shepherd by his very absence and the presence of the knight. The knight is always associated with the courtly love tradition and his prowess, his courtliness. When he seems to contradict this behavior we have one of two possible reactions—either, because it is unexpected and reverses the natural order of the world, the audience finds humor in his depiction: the knight who is always seen as having such restraint and self-control loses his head over a mere shepherdess; or he remembers the proper mode of behavior and speaks to the shepherdess in a courtly fashion, again provoking a role-reversal that turns the courtly tradition on its head and once more causes a humorous situation.
The medieval audience is accustomed to seeing the knight win—if a shepherdess foils him it is laughable. If he wins by having to resort to force over a shepherdess then once more the situation is so completely preposterous that it provokes laughter and is reminiscent of the fabliaux. Tristan would never have compromised himself by romping about the woods with some unimportant shepherdess. One cannot even imagine Erec ignoring Enide in preference to a rendezvous in the woods. The pastourelle depicts what by medieval terms is the absurd.
It is an aspect that is overlooked by both Gravdal and Paden, however I feel it is core to the medieval definition of the pastourelle—it was meant to entertain, and as the fabliau also reversed the natural order of medieval life, so did the pastourelle. The shepherdess always sings and often plays a typical pastoral instrument—a flute or a pipe. Sound and music, the emphasis on orality and on hearing the pastourelle is implicit in its composition.
The knight describes the shepherds celebrating and orality manifests itself not in the form of dialogue but in the form of song and in the refrain. If the importance of orality to the pastourelle were still in question, clearly these pastourelles demonstrate its significance for the genre and, by extension, for the mode. He is truly devoted to his lady and, despite his interest, graciously explains to the shepherdess that his heart belongs to another. Moreover, the social divide between the two fades here as they come together in prayer. The knight finds the shepherd seated in the woods suffering and lamenting.
The entirety of the pastourelle is rather conventional and brief in its content— however, it is notable for two reasons. The first is the change in voice: here is a shepherd, not a shepherdess, so an exchange of the feminine for the masculine perspective. Secondly, his lament dominates the short composition and recalls classical pastoral compositions in its form. The reader is presented with a love triangle comprising of the shepherdess, Marion, and the two shepherds, Robin and Guiot. There is no knight present and narration dominates the form, in particular in the first half of the pastourelle.
Loss does not take the form of a loss of virginity through a sexual encounter—rather, it is in the shepherd Guiot that loss resonates. Erart offers a different depiction of love, one familiar and tender and very different from both the courtly love between knight and lady and the uneven relationship between knight and shepherdess. The poet plays the role of observer here. This pastourelle is an interesting composition for it is basically divided in two parts. It is repeated at the end of each strophe.
The dance and music are central to the pastourelle. The other component of the story is the dueling between Perrin and Roger. Roger wants to give Sarah a belt to show his affection, however Perrin tells him that Sarah will be engaged soon to him! The dance gets underway with Gui cheerfully leading the dances. Roger, however, is angry with Perrin regarding Sarah and by the end of the episode he has begun to beat up Perrin and a large fight breaks out. The knight backs away to watch the fight but does not interfere.
His role is merely that of an observer. In the end even Gui gets mad and his bagpipe is split with a knife vv. What should be a happy celebration turns into a knockdown brawl and the lawlessness inherent outside the city walls becomes even more apparent in this pastourelle where the knight refuses to interfere—he merely watches them fight. Elements of the fabliaux and the comic resonate in the farcical fight, underscoring the element of entertainment inherent to the pastourelle. The next author, Guiraut Riquier, also offers a novel approach to the pastourelle, a unified examination over time of the knight and the shepherdess.
He sees the young shepherdess, beautiful and alone next to the river. They speak and their dialogue occupies the majority of the scene as well as the five following scenes. While this may resemble the description of a play, this is neither a comedy nor a drama. This is a cycle of pastorelas written by Guiraut Riquier between and Riquier was born in Narbonne and travelled among various courts in southern France, including Narbonne, as well as in Toledo, capital of the kingdom of Castille Paden, Medieval Pastourelle II One critic, Rouben Cholakian, notes this very fact but it does not figure greatly in his study.
However, what he does note prepares the way for our own study. He elaborates later: Riquier [in the first pastorela] speaks as both artist and lover, and the woman responds as both desiring and censuring female. The pastourelle, defined by the ancients clearly and precisely, is always acknowledged as having certain characteristics. According to the medieval conception of the pastourelle, it always takes place within a bucolic frame where the poet-lover finds the shepherdess, alone watching her flock whatever the flock may be.
However, in the fourth pastorela the troubadour introduces a new element: a little girl.
From the fourth pastorela through the sixth there is a development and evolution in the setting. The road that brought the poet-lover and took him away again in the first four pastorelas here brings the shepherdess and her daughter. The riverside is no longer the setting for the encounters between the shepherdess and her poet-lover.
Instead of the poet-lover coming by the path to find her in the field next to the river he meets her with her daughter in the road, at mid-point, on her return from her pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. Moreover, this and the sixth pastorela are unusual in that they mention an actual location, a real, specified place. Typically the pastourelle is never specific—the setting is almost always vague. Such a development signals a shift in content. The shift in setting parallels the evolution of the character of the shepherdess.
The young shepherdess is transformed into a mother, religiously conscientious and concerned with the sociopolitical preoccupations of the period. The sacred here enters the pastorela and in the same way that the woman is transformed so is the scene. In Pastorela VI, from the familiar locus amoenus with which the reader of the pastourelle are well-acquainted they are transported to a place more common to the sirventes that recalls the bourgeois setting. Newcombe, VI, ; The change in setting parallels the change in the shepherdess.
She has always been identified by the poet as one who mocks him. However, rather than voicing them himself he has his shepherdess act as the sage who admonishes her poet to turn to God. Such a concern inevitably reminds the reader of Dante and Beatrice in the Vita Nuova and the Commedia. Olivia Holmes asserts: Riquier may have been familiar with contemporary developments in Italian lyric […].
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