The Transmission and Treatment of Mythological Naterial in Some Medieval Spanish Texts
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Studies on mythological themes have largely ignored the Spanish Middle Ages, and critical works on literature of this period have neglected the mythological aspect. This is, therefore, not only a vast, but on the whole a new, subject, and my thesis cannot be definitive. I explore some of its possibilities in the hope that this will inspire further study. Having examined various mythologies I conclude that classical mythology is the principal one to receive treatment in medieval Spain. In my introduction I consider the works through which the writers of the Spanish Middle Ages received their knowledge of mythology and the ways in which they adapted it to suit a medieval reader. In chapters II-IV, I study a selection of medieval works, both prose and verse and from different genres. In each work I examine the writer's treatment of the mythology he found in his sources and the ways in which he introduced his own original mythological details and the purpose they serve. In chapter V, I consider the development of the use of two mythological characters through the period and chapter VI draws the thesis to a conclusion. I compare the use of mythology in the early and late Middle Ages and show that the passing of time increases interest in, and knowledge of, mythology. The didactic use that" the early writers made of mythology develops into the aesthetic use made of it by the fifteenth-century writers. A detailed analysis of the use a fifteenth century work makes of a thirteenth-century one proves that works from the earlier century must have had a much greater influence on the later ones than has been generally acknowledged; it also throws into doubt the conception of the fifteenth century as pre-Renaissance
AuthorsParker, Margaret A.
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