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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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(p.220) 6 Flyting
Dunbar the Makar

Priscilla Bawcutt

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses one of the medieval poetic traditions in which Dunbar excels: flyting. In the sixteenth century, flyting was a contest of wits wherein poets assailed each other alternately with tirades of abusive verses. In this chapter, the poems of Dunbar that criticize the manners and morals of society are carefully studied, particularly those that are inclined towards retaliatory, lampoon, invective and satirical poetry. Most of his poems tirade the follies of the common man, but the greed of the common churchmen makes, however, no mention of the abuses in the contemporary Scottish Church. Although Dunbar sardonically displays tirades and criticisms in his poems, most of his satiric stances are conservative, conventional and devoid of one particular subject upon which he is morally outraged.

Keywords:   flyting, tirades, satirical poetry, criticisms, Dunbar

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