This article presents a new view on Ene boerde, text number 126 in the Van Hulthem manuscript (c. 1405-1408). This monorhyme is considered as a scatalogical joke, because the main action seems to be the throwing of a pot filled with urine at a man’s head by a woman. Nonetheless the text raises a lot of questions, which are left unanswered hitherto. However, the obscurities can be clarified when the text is conceived as a dramatic monologue performed by an actor. But which personage did he impersonate? An important clue for the solution of that mystery appears to be the statement of the man’s ‘sweetheart’. Her answer can be understood as an ambiguous one, consisting of a sequence of sexual metaphors. Because of this the narrated event can be (re)constructed as follows. The actor represents the well-known type of a cuckold. Presumably the man and the woman make up an unequal couple. The husband, who keeps an eye on his wife, threatens to catch her with a lover. Nevertheless she manages to work herself out of trouble. In his report the foolish husband makes himself the object of the spectators’ derision. It is reasonable that the monologue was performed especially – but not exclusively – during Shrovetide with the intention of confirming the urban conjugal ethics and deriding those who violate them. It is not inconceivable that for the sake of infilling the fifteen lines which constitute Ene boerde were extracted from a play in which stereotypes one after the other related their experiences with matrimonial affairs (Reihenspiel).
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