Ane Satyre of the Thrie Estaitis
Ane Pleastant Satyre of the Thrie Estaitis is a sateirical morality play wrate by Scots makar Dauvit Lyndsay an first pit on i 1552 i Linlithgow, though no prentit until 1602. Ane o the Satyre's disteinguishin features is is haein faircical comic, awmaist slapstick, interludes, that micht no hae been pairt o the oreiginal wark. The Satyre is the auldest survivin play i Scots, an is the ainlie survivn Scots play frae the Medieval period.
The Satyre is an attack on the Thrie Esaitis o the auld Scots Pairliament - the kirkmen, the lords and the burgesses. Thir curns is representit by the chairacters o Spiritualitie, Temporalitie an Merchand o thir, the kirkmen gets dinged the hairdest by Lindsay's pen. Wrate no lang afore the Reformation i Scotland, the wark gies a guid pictur o the social tensions that wis present at this important pynt i Scots history.
Table o contents
I Pairt Ane o the play, there's twanty-seiven chairacters, an seiven mair is eikit i Pairt Twa.
The central chairacter is King Humanitie, an is influencit by twa curns o chairacters. The guid chairacters is Divyne Correctioun, Gude Counsall an Chastitie, an the bad yins is Dame Sensualitie, an the thrie vices, Faltterie, Falset an Dissait.
Set i Scotland i the 16t century, a learnit doctor cried Dilegence gies a sermon on Christian doctrine. The heidmaist chairacter, ung King Humanitie, syne kythes an gangs agley unner the influence o Dame Sensualitie an the Vices. His counsellors gar him tak a mistress, that sets aff his tynin o Christian morals. Syne he is begowkit by the thrie vices, that hae guisit thaimsels as Devotioun, Discretioun an (efter a hilarious fankle whaur Falset forleits his fauss-name an accidentally cries hissel "Thin Drink") Sapience.
The Vices tak control o the court, haein Gude Counsel incarcerate an stairtin tae control the King hissel. The King forleits his Christian vitrues an canna rule richt onie mair - aw the while the Vices tak mair an mair control, sendin Charitie an Veritie tae the jougs. They dae awa wi Chastitie an aw, leavin her hameless, an seimbolically no taen in by Spiritualitie, Temporalitie or the common fowk. Efter Chastitie is finally bein pit i the jyle hersel, Divine Correctioun taks tae the stage - the Vices ken their time is up, an tak the gate afore their caught, takkin the king's traisure kist wi thaim. Divine Correctioun lowses Gude Counsel, Chastitie an Veritie, an redes the king tae caw a pairlament, breingin an end tae Pairt Ane.
A comical interlude skails the twa pairts o the play, in whilk Peur Man an Diligence flyte on ithir, i the mainner o Dunbar an Kennedy (or for that maitter Lindsay hissel an James V). Diligence braks the fowerth waw as the Peur Man lowps on the stage, cawin doun the "officiars" for lattin the "fals raggit loun" win inbye the theatre. Peur Man gies sum speeches about the abuse o pouer by the kirkmen, an the want o justice, sayin: ''I culd get nane at Sessioun nor Seinye"(1974). He gies a wee comment about hou plays an siclike entertainment dinna mak up for the wae o puirtith: "I wil not gif for al your play worth ane sowis fart/ For there is richt litill play at my hungire hart."(1964-5).
Diligence apens the pairliament an the King, Correctioun an the Virtews come ben. John Commonweal (representin the common guid o the kintra) taks speech i haun an tells o the failins o thrie estaites. The Merchand an Temporalitie get serred, an their estaites want reform, an tho Spiritualie (the kirkmen) tries tae fecht back, the chairges brocht agin him is ower monie an the kirkmen gies in. The Thrie Vices is incarcerate, deemit an execute, but no afore ilk ane o thaim haes the chance tae gie a wee speech. Syne Diligence closes the play, redin awbodie tae gang their gate an live weil, afore concludin:
- Now let ilk man his way avance:
- Let sum ga drink and sum ga dance.
- Menstrall, blaw up ane brawll of France:
- Let se quha hobbils best!
- For I will rin, incontinent,
- To the tavern or ever I stent,
- And pray to God Omnipotent
- To send yow all gude rest. (4664-71)
Efter no bein playit for awmaist fower hunner year, the Satyre wis revivit for the Edinburgh Festival i 1948, direcrit by Tyrone Guthrie, wi the text bein editit an prepared for an actin edition by Robert Kemp.
I the 1980s by the Scottish Theatre Company, direcit by Tam Fleming playit at the Kirk o Scotland's heidquarters on the Mound for the Festival, an toured Europe an aw, winnin the Roman Szydlowski Prize i Warsaw, 1986. The rinnin time for this production, maugre o cuts tae the text, wis aroun fower an a hauf hour.
I 1996, John McGrath adaptit it a mair contemporary morality play A Satire of the Four Estates, that wis presentit by Wildcat Theatre Company as the pairt o the Edinburgh Festival.
- Sir David Lindsay, Ane Satyre of the Thrie Estatitis, 1552 (Canongate Classics Edition, ed. Roderick Lyall, 1989)
- John Speirs, The Scots Literary Tradition, Faber and Faber, (Seicond edeition, 1962)
- Agnes Mure MacKenzie, "The Renaissance Poets: (1) Scots and English" i Kinsley (ed), Scottish Poetry: A Critical Survey, Cassell and Company, 1955
- Chris Ravenhall, "Sixteenth-century 'agit-prop': Sir David Lyndsay's Ane Satyre of the Thrie Estaitis", ScotLit 22 (2000)