berceo- miracles of our lady- introduction.docx

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St. Michael's College Courses
Yolanda Iglesias

INTRODUCTION TO GONZALO DE BERCEO Life and Work - He is known for his poems on religious subjects, written in a style of verse which has been called mester de clerecia shared with more secular productions such as the Libro de Alexandre and the Libro de Apolonia. He is considered the firest Spanish poet known by name - As we see now, berceo wrote in the erudit poetic form of cuaderna via (four fold way), a form descended from a similar medieval latin verse and utilized by the writers of the mester de clerecia - What we know about berceo is relatively little and is based on what he says about himself in his works and on dates that has been collected from the archives of the monastery of San Millan de la Cogolla - San Millan de la Cogolla: the original monastery was too small, so they built another, bigger one next door Life - He was born in the rgion of La Gioja in the Village of Berceo - The records from the monastery of San Millan de la Cogolla allows us to conclude about Berceo the following information: - He was born in the final years of the C12: he was a deacon in 1221 and title which carried a minimum age of 25 - It is possible that between 1223 and 1236 he was studying at the Estudio General de Palenica - In 1237, he held the rank of a priest - He was still alive in 1246 - We don't know the year of his death, but the general accepted time frame for his death is after 1252 and before 1264 Work - He wrote devotional and theological works - The most famous one is The Miracles - The devotional may be deivided into two subsections: - The Marian and the biographical - He was a prolific writer MESTER DE CLERECIA (scholar arts) - It is called thus to the medieval literature compused mainly by clergy men (because they were usually the only ones who had the education to be able to read and write) - They didn't have to be a priest but were educated men - Mester de Clercia can be understood as an opposition and surpassing the Mester de Juglaria (ministrels' art) - Mester de Juglaria: they were a group of people who sang poems with no technique and more vulgar language; all they produced were epics - Mester de clerica: there was a refined technique and had a clear objective - Main goal of mester de clerica poets was to offer a learned - They wrote in the vernacular rather than in latin to reach as much audience as possible - They use an authoritative voice so they can teach the people - They use popular speech and familiar proverbs so they can be understood by the people Features - All poets presumed to dominate what they called "to know without mistakes" (saber sin errores). It means the dominion, pride and skills that they have to write without mistakes (cuaderna via) - Their art is educated - They use rhetoric and common vocal with cultism - Their work is written in cuaderna via - They deal with religious themes and historiographical moralizing stores with well known latin sources - Objective: to entertiain,m to teach, to indeuce virtues, faith, piety and generosity - For the reason, the authors reach to creat a tone of authority - Their ar is mainly commited and they used vernacular literature to reach as many people as possible. School vs Genre - Is it a school of thought or a genre of literature? - This is still being argued about BERCEO CONTRIBUTIONS - In all of his writings, the common people are always present - To call people's attentions, he talks directly with his audience (i.e. the introduction) - Berceo has a triple objective: - Religious education - Moralization - Propaganda of his monastery to attract the pilgrims - Aspects of the xian popular education - Highlight the virtuous conducts of prominent figures and repudiate abuses of bad people - His work has a clear diadectic intention - It transmits a scale of xian values clearly defined - Because his work is aimed at the common people, his message is direct and simple, but very well done BERCEO PROPAGANDA - The Miracles of Our Lady and Vida de San Millan de la Cogolla both have strong propagandistic interest - The kings stopped funding the mon
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