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François Villon, nouvel Enée? De l'ouverture à la clôture de l'Epître à Marie d'Orléans
Le Moyen Français
L'Épître à Marie d'Orléans has often been deemed unworthy of François Villon's quill ; yet it opened the castel of Blois' doors for him. The Parisian poet established a dialog with the duke by using the praise of the young princess to stimulate her father to think about the mechanisms and the limits of the laudatio. First, he poses as a contemporary Vergil by keeping to the traditional pattern. Then, in the Double ballade, he proceeds to a self-interested speech in which the barely gained authority is eroded in order to end the Épître in a heroic parody. When Villon calls Marie a "noble Didon," he identifies to the fugitive Eneas arriving in Carthage. Charles d'Orléans will have appreciated Villon's slightly self-mocking attitude even more since he is familiar with this method. He will also have appreciated how the poet subtly suggests - behind the veil of praise and erudition - that he is only transient in Blois and that he would definitely not be a good court poet. The Épître can be read in many ways because of the plays of intertextuality and the use of various styles: Indeed, Villon adresses a group of experts.
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