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Dunbar the Makar$
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Priscilla Bawcutt

Print publication date: 1992

Print ISBN-13: 9780198129639

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198129639.001.0001

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Court Poems: Praise and Petition

Court Poems: Praise and Petition

(p.78) 3 Court Poems: Praise and Petition
Dunbar the Makar

Priscilla Bawcutt

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the rule of James V and the role of Dunbar during his reign as a court poet, wherein he was tasked to write complimentary verses of places, people with high ranks, occasion and monumental events and historical accounts. In his court poems and begging-poems, he tends to lean towards a communal voice, sometimes inclined towards public rituals. His poems, although displaying an appropriately elevated style, lack individuality and abound in rhetorical commonplaces and such figures as apostrophe, repetitio and hyperbole. The discussion also focuses on the failure of Dunbar to establish himself as a respected poet, owing to the poetic genre in which his poems were generally created. His begging-poems are often seen by scholars and poets alike as unattractive, not a literary tradition and not moralising.

Keywords:   Dunbar, court poet, court poems, begging-poems, poet, poetic genre

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