Christian Allegory in Early Hispanic Poetry

Christian Allegory in Early Hispanic Poetry

DAVID WILLIAM FOSTER
Copyright Date: 1970
Pages: 148
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt130jm08
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    Christian Allegory in Early Hispanic Poetry
    Book Description:

    Distinguishing figural or typological allegory -- a method adapted from the Christian exegesis of the Old Testament -- from the broader Hellenistic concept of allegory, this book examines its use in representative poems of early Hispanic literature. The author focuses on the thematic and structural employment of this originally nonliterary device and comments on the literary problems it posed and the artistic effects which were achieved by it. The development of this particular allegorical method in medieval Hispanic literature -- works in Spanish, Portuguese, Galician, and Catalan -- he shows, was fully equal to that found in the medieval Latin, Italian, and English literatures, and an understanding of its use serves to clarify the interpretation of many individual poems.

    eISBN: 978-0-8131-6291-1
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. 1-6)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. 7-8)
  3. PREFACE
    (pp. 9-10)
  4. INTRODUCTION
    (pp. 11-20)

    The termallegoryhas multiple applications. Within literary and biblical scholarship and in the writings of the medieval authors, three usages are found: (1) Greek or Hellenistic allegory, where the sign is important only for what is signified, (2) one of the three nonliteral meanings of biblical exegesis, the formal level dealing with the events in the New Testament and their relation to the Old Testament, as opposed to the moral or tropological and the anagogical or eschatalogical levels, (3) the nonliteral meaning of biblical exegesis or Christian figural interpretation, as opposed to the literal or historical meaning of the...

  5. Chapter I THE CONCEPT OF FULFILLMENT AND THE UNITY OF DIVINE HISTORY
    (pp. 21-69)

    Inherent in the figural concept of history is the role of prophecy. Fulfilled history bespeaks the way in which God has ordered the universe so that the present is a realization of the past, while new figures are to be understood as God’s prophecy of the future history of mankind. Christianity firmly believed in the prophecy of the Old Testament and continues to heed the promises of the New Testament with respect to the final Kingdom of God.

    Strictly speaking, only the Old Testament presented a coherent prophecy of Christianity. Yet, many thinkers came to respect all of the literary...

  6. Chapter II THE FIGURE OF ADAM AND MAN AS SAINT AND SINNER
    (pp. 70-104)

    The three texts discussed in this chapter represent the poets’ preoccupation with the role of man as an individual in the divine history of God. Adam, the father of man, has traditionally been seen as two separate but inextricably interwoven figures: Adam as Cain—murderer, betrayer, unrepentant sinner, unable to comprehend the mission of Christ and the promise of redemption—and Adam as Abel—the sacrificial victim, Christ the redeemer, aware of and responsive to his role in the grand design of the universe.

    The thirteenth-centuryReyes de Oriente,while it deals to a certain extent with divine history, focuses...

  7. Chapter III THE CONCEPT OF MARY IN THIRTEENTH-CENTURY SPANISH POETRY
    (pp. 105-135)

    In one of the most delightful of Alfonso’sCantigas, ¹ the poet employs a paronomasia to underline his concept of the role of the Virgin Mary in the history of mankind: ²

    Entre Ave Eva

    gran departiment’á.

    Ca Eva nos tolleu

    o Parays’ e Deus

    Ave nos y meteu;

    porend’, amigos meus

    entre Ave Eva

    gran departiment’á.

    Eva nos foi deitar

    do dem’ en sa prijon,

    et Ave én sacar;

    et por esta razón,

    entre Ave Eva

    gran departiment’á.

    Eva nos fez perder

    amor de Deus e ben,

    e pois Ave aver

    nol-o fez; o porén,

    entre Ave Eva

    gran...

  8. CONCLUSION
    (pp. 136-140)

    One of the most characteristic features of medieval Hispanic literature is the unfortunate paucity of texts in three important genres: the epic, the drama, and, for literature in Castilian, the lyric. Much has been written in the attempt to hypothesize the reasons for this paucity, and some success has been achieved in reconstructing the supposed missing works. Aside from the critic’s dismay at no longer having these works at his disposal, the significance of such a circumstance for a study of Christian allegory is to make it extremely difficult to pretend that a fair representation of the typology of the...

  9. INDEX
    (pp. 141-145)
  10. Back Matter
    (pp. 146-146)