Though it is generally accepted that we do not know the origin of Mariken van Nieumeghen, many scholars have recognized and remarked on parallels in motifs and structure between this play and a medieval story with a similar plot, the Beatrijs. This article compares the two texts in considerable detail; it concludes that Beatrijs must have been the primary source for Mariken, even though a number of elements were taken from other works (primarily the story of Abraham and Maria meretrix). Mariken is a 'concealed adaptation' of Beatrijs: the plot and many details were maintained, but by changing certain crucial and recognizable elements the adaptor produced what seems to be a new text. Read against the courtly and monastic Beatrijs-tradition, Mariken can be considered a modernized, middle-class, secular text; an awareness of the textual history illuminates many of the puzzling details of this play.
< Terug naar overzicht