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The Mester of Clergy in the thirteenth century. Gonzalo de Berceo


The concept of Clergy Mester fits better to the works of this genre of the thirteenth century to the fourteenth century, which is far removed from the model, both from the standpoint of formal and ideological.

In the thirteenth century should highlight the following works:

- Libro de Alexandre: anonymous narrative (although some scholars have attributed it to Gonzalo de Berceo) of the life of the Macedonian emperor Alexander the Great (fourth century BC). It is a large work (over 10,000 lines) in which there are many scholars elements (historical, geographical, scientific, philosophical, etc.). And literary references, it appears, among other things, a long passage (about 2,000 lines) in which Alexander himself tells his men to the Trojan War. However, its purpose is a moral one: to show how the fate of all men, even the most powerful, is in the hands of God.


- Book of Apollonius: romantic story full of intrigue, travel, shipwrecks, separations, reunions, etc.. Starring Apollonius King of Tyre.


- Poema de Fernan Gonzalez bulkhead version via a lost epic poem on the exploits of the first independent Castilian Count Leo.


Gonzalo de Berceo:


Gonzalo de Berceo is the oldest known Spanish author. His works are of religious subjects, and some of them also serve as specific propaganda of his religious order and his own monastery in them, Berceo reminds his readers the need to support with their donations.

Among the outstanding works of their narrations Berceo lives of saints: Life of San Millan, Life of St. Dominic and Vida Santa Oria. These works share a common narrative pattern: the first part recounts the saint's biography in the second recount miracles performed during his lifetime and the third the miracles performed after his death.

But the most famous work Berceo are the Miracles of Our Lady. It is a collection of stories about miraculous actions taken by the Virgin. As with all works of Gonzalo de Berceo, the Miracles of Our Lady are adapted from other literary works, usually in Latin. However, Berceo not limited to translating, but extends and modifies what he reads, with a very personal style and language. There is also an allegorical type lengthy introduction, which is his own invention.


The Clergy Mester of XIV century


The Clergy Mester lasted from the fourteenth century, but underwent significant changes in both form and content. On the way through the frame is unchanged and also in the works combines verses from other classes. Content no longer limited to transmitting the values and knowledge of medieval clergy culture, but they are much more varied and complex.

Outstanding in this period the following works:


- Rimado Paper Palace: written by Pero López de Ayala, a leading political figure of the era and author of historical chronicles. The play is widely different political, moral and religious, with a pessimistic and conservative.


- Proverbs moral: in this case, the moral content is not based, as usual in Mester of Clergy in the Catholic doctrine, but in the Jewish, because the author is Rabbi Sem Tob de Carrión. The metrical form of theseMoral proverbs is an evolution from the frame via: the rhymes are no longer limited to the end of the verses, but the hemistiches also rhyme with each other.


- Book of Good Love: The Book of Juan Ruiz, Archpriest of Hita, is the masterpiece of medieval clerical literature. It consists of more than seven thousand verses, and containing not have a whole unit. The common thread linking the various episodes is a fictional autobiography of the Archpriest, which appears as the protagonist of various adventures.

Contents of the Book of Good Love


As what there are the various affairs of the Archpriest, the book introduces and brings a range of literary materials from many varied:


- A large number of enxiemplos, ie, fables and stories that are used in dialogues to illustrate the arguments of the characters.


- An adaptation of the work Ars Amandi (The Art of Loving), the Latin poet Ovid, which offered different advice to woo women.


- An adaptation of the medieval Latin comedy Pamphilus, which leads to the episode of love between Don Melon de la Huerta and Dona Endrin.


- Satires, among which it is addressed to the properties of money, and parodies of other genres, such as the battle between Carnal and Lent, an episode that imitates the epic burlesque.


- Lyric poetry, both religious and love, among which are those that correspond to the Archpriest's affairs with a mountain.


The metric of the book is not uniform. Juan Ruiz almost always used the frame track, but alternate hemistiches 7 to 8 syllables. In addition, there are other types of verses based on short lines, typical of lyric poems.

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