minstrel: Bards in period

Edwin Hewitt brogoose at pe.net
Mon Apr 28 22:47:13 PDT 1997


At 01:41 PM 4/28/97 -0400, Ed Hopkins wrote:
>> Macbeth (1044-1057) is said to have made the following decree:
>> "Fools, minstrels, bards, and all such idle people, unless they
>> be especially licensed by the king, shall be compelled to seek
>> some craft to earn their living.  If they refuse, they shall be
>> drawn like horses in the plough and harness."
>
>At first glance, this sems to show that Macbeth was not one to
>suffer fools gladly, but a careful rereading shows that the punishment
>was just for unlicensed professional fools....
>
>-- Alfredo

A good point.  Wandering montebanks and performers were looked on as
tramps and vagabonds in many locals (at least by those who upheld the
law): "I was born in the back of a traveling show, my momma danced for
the money they'd throw..."  

Presumably they were popular with the peasantry and disrupted work.  
On the other hand, patroned performers had the status of their patron to 
back them up.  They also had visible means of support.

Edwin


Full-time Idealist, Part-time Realist.

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