Studies and Texts

181 publications found

Edited and translated by
A.G. Rigg

Gawain on Marriage: The Textual Tradition of the De coniuge non ducenda

Studies and Texts 79. 1986. xii, 104 pp. ISBN 978–0–88844–079–2

The De coniuge non ducenda (composed ca. 1225–1250) was one of the most popular antimatrimonial satires of the later Middle Ages. It is a cheerful poem and not very serious. Its protagonist is the Arthurian hero Gawain, who was known not only for valour but also for unfortunate entanglements with women. He is planning to marry, but three “angels,” Peter of Corbeil, Lawrence of Durham and John Chrysostom (representing a trinity of Power, Wisdom and Grace), set out to dissuade him. Their arguments are drawn partly from traditional antifeminist satire and biblical proverbs, but they stress not the obstacles that marriage poses to the scholar or cleric but the disadvantages for the ordinary working man.

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