Response to Craun’s “Ye by Peter and by Poul!’: Lewte and the Practice of Fraternal Correction”, by Peter and by Poul!’: Lewte and the Practice of Fraternal Correction”
Will, unlike the fraternal correctors discussed by Craun, is by no means a reverent rebuker when he confronts, say, the Friar confessor. (Likewise, Will is a public corrector, unlike, say, Margery Kempe, who corrects Archbishop Arundel in private.) The implications are that Will is by no means acting charitably, according to the rules of fraternal correction, but rather expanding his correction into “a polemic against friars.” Moreover, Will’s ethical status is in question, while Margery’s seems not to be. Will, after all, enters the “Land of Longing” after a series of combative encounters culminating in sheer belligerence against Scripture. While Lewte may be right that is licitum to publish what is already publically known, is Will justified nonetheless? Is his speech really “lele?” All in all, this poem “has its moments of scurrilous discourse and profanity, its provocation to laugher at others, its tirades, accusations and uncharitable speech. Is this fraternal correction? Or not?”
YLS 15 (2001): 30-32
Clopper, Lawrence M.