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Learn more about Amazon Giveaway. Thus, the chronicler's voice characterizes the event reported in the short story and establishes the use of words in Machado's penultimate short story. As we will see later on in this text, it also guides the reading of the epigraph. From different voices and diverse narrative lines, it associates not only memory with fiction, but also the perceptions of existence in terms of fiction and memory data coded with fiction.
In the scope of the literary trends of that period and of narrative poetics, this is an amalgam between friendship and reading relationships. We should also mention that the voices of discourse bring indicators of place and time to enunciation and materialize the dialogic relations of the text. In the creative process of the short story, Machado de Assis registers an echo of voices that is accepted and well assimilated in the constitutive development of the narrative. The case of the short story also presupposes an encounter between Manuel Bandeira and Machado de Assis at Largo do Machado [Machado Public Square] during a streetcar ride.
Bandeira recalls this moment in the chronicle Machado de Assis , p. We should say that despite being skeptical and with no faith in mankind, Machado de Assis behaved with cordiality and kindness in life. I remember that at the age of fourteen I got on a streetcar at Largo do Machado [Machado Public Square] and so it happened that I was sitting next to the old writer.
It would be natural if he did not give attention to me and kept on reading. But he did not do it; he folded the paper and stroke up a conversation. Francisco de Assis Barbosa , p. The propensity for the Portuguese classics comes from the contact with Silva Ramos, his teacher, and his classmate Sousa da Silveira. The writer chooses the short conversation they had on a streetcar and surrounds it with expressions of gratitude; at the same time, he ratifies the symbolic traits of the passage from Canto V with traits of the short story composition.
Through his narrator, who is indirect and simulating, Machado de Assis adjusts to Manuel Bandeira and gives him the benefit of the formal pleasure for the shared topic, which is afterwards accomplished in a fictional creation. Thus, in the themes of Bandeira's chronicles there is the disclosure of the origin of Machado's short story, i. As we have already mentioned, it gives us the necessary support to read it and it shows us the author's intent, demonstrating the way how he adjusts or not his writing to the circumstances he is to narrate.
According to Emil Staiger, "[t]he principle of composition most truly epic in character is that of simple addition. On a small as well as on a large scale epic brings independent elements together. The process of addition goes on continually" , p. Because of that, it adds one event to another in a symmetrical way. Thus, there is an autonomous correspondence between observed and added parts, for their point of view is also determined by the analyst as unchangeable.
According to Staiger, that happens because the epic literary work, differently from the lyric work, does not plunge into time, recalling it in details. The epic work recalls it from only one point of view, the narrator's, whose memory determines time in space as a register of his point of view, which places that which was recalled. Thus, the one who remembers also shows what he recalls without changing spirits. He juxtaposes and adds one recalled situation to another.
In Machado de Assis's case, this happens by giving us a short story and his tribute to the co-authors and the character without changing spirits and by accomplishing a counterpoint in a sum of occurrences mediated with poetics. Based on lived realities, the interpersonal relations start to participate as the mediation and motivation of the short story, in which the voice of Machado de Assis's narrator is composed with the voices of Manuel Bandeira and Abel Ferreira. Not only do we read this from the epigraph, but we also notice it in the affective and interested literary attitudes among them, which are consolidated by the desire to be placed in the value of the referred object, in the constitution of that object, in its event.
The Warnings relate to his preference for literary reasons that address the diversity of life circumstances.
However, the fictionist surprises us by the way he makes Manuel Bandeira and Abel his presumed readers, something that Bandeira makes clear 49 years after the publication of the short story. It is necessary to emphasize that the place of the replying refraction is first indicated with face-to-face interactions in circumstantial and amicable relations.
Later, they are arranged literarily through meaning relations that are established between the short-story text, its epigraph, and the chronicles. Thus, once again, according to Voloshinov , p.
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We want to consider the totality of those three verbal interactions with their dialogical relations separated in time and space. In them, different discourses are manifested in actions by means of utterances that reflect and refract them, confirm them, identify them through their voices, and ratify them in art based on living models. We should concentrate on the way Machado de Assis thinks of fiction by means of dialogism.
Besides that, we should remember that, in the essay O passado, o presente e o futuro da literatura [The Past, the Present, and the Future of Literature , the critic Machado de Assis j, p.
It is about a humorous short story of observation by a mature author. Through an ambiguous and simulating narrator and stemming from his textual comparisons, Machado de Assis goes beyond the original report.
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In it, we have the natural and social gesture of a sailor, the protagonist, followed by feelings of frustration in face of the incident. He feels foolish due to the comic and insignificant situation that he lived. Thus, Machado's character is revealed as being free from naturalism and fatalism, from possible grievances brought by the circumstances of his frustrated attitude, which he almost paid with his life. It is about a character used to movement, to wandering, to casual things, to street sensations, to incidents in travel and in life. He is not attached to the absolute; he does not succumb to the inapprehensible, the inapprehensible nature.
He wants to understand scenes, to interfere in the scenes through his feelings, which he did unsuccessfully. Well, what happens is that, for Machado de Assis, images, as well as words, simulate and dissimulate. Images also produce truth and deception. In the short story, the image of a mannequin was understood, according to the sailor's spontaneous action of salvation, as the appearance of a woman in trouble. It happens that the protagonist notices the mistake that he made only in the midst of a thick fire, as the building burning to ashes was about to collapse and almost killed the savior in his salvation endeavor:.
As there was no woman to be taken by Death, it seemed to observe him, the generous savior, attentively. The officer doubted the truth for an instant; the horror could have taken away all the human being's movements, and incidentally the mannequin would be a woman. He was coming closer; no, it was not a woman, it was a mannequin. Here it is, the incarnated and naked back; here they are, the shoulders without arms; here it is, the wood to which every mannequin is fixed.
When the sailor is aware of the trick of the image, he becomes frustrated. This is the kind of frustration that, according to selected affinities, Machado's narrative brings close to pessimism, to warnings against idealism, voluntarism, and even to the absurd. Therefore, from the one side, just as Staiger wants, the image of a fire is curiously directed to the plot of actions, i. On the other side, as the mature Machado wants, in new narrative circumstances it is directed to the catastrophe of a sailor, in which the protagonist goes beyond the tone of Machado's character, being motivated to change his worldview in face of the unfavorable results he lived without seemingly being beaten by adversities.
According to the final lines of the short story, the narrator tells us about the last news he had on the protagonist: However, the author takes on somebody else's words and humorously reasons with them. He keeps somebody else's voice, his source, and makes dialogism possible in the inner part of the narrative discourse. He does it even when he establishes an intersecting play of words his own and somebody else's , promoting an opening in the literary perspective of his short-story narrative. Then, Machado de Assis is freer from the socio-political-cultural tensions that always affected the constitution of the identity of his characters.
His critical-creative nature based on modernism has a Baudelairian tone: The subjectivity of the situation is based on the length of the transitory circumstances that are lived and valued according to the advent of modernism, which points to the end of the notion of the totality of an event.
The event seen from the city scenery is fragmented, intermittent, diverse; because of that, it is different and unexpected. Moreover, in a very revealing way Machado de Assis brings the inquietudes of modernism, identified in the protagonist's role, to his penultimate short story. According to men's role in society, he is a person who is free to choose his destiny.
Such role shows us an autonomous and positive individual, but who is unconcerned at the same time. Thus, far from gloom and disillusion, even when frustrated, he is constituted by a kind of consciousness that dissolves an authorial poetics that is free from the weight of institutions and their conveniences in face of power. Thus, he makes it singular and constituted of the author's relations with his criticism, poetics, and his life before his friends.
Humor, the good humor, is a voluntary attitude that expresses affinity sometimes in an extraordinary or well-founded way, almost provoking laughter. A priest who dares ban his flock from going to a church of the Virgin is left bleating like a goat ; another, who steals an altarcloth to make underclothes, is bent double by night cramp until he confesses Every refrain reinforces the message that if you serve the Virgin, as Alfonso has done so emblematically, she will look after you.
Alfonso died in , deposed and rejected, worn out by fighting cancer and his son. The Cantigas de Santa Maria remain as a monument to his hope. Niemeyer, ; reprinted with Glossary, Lisbon: Universidade, —28; reprinted, Lisbon: Universidade, ; reprinted Lisbon: Studies on Medieval Hispanic Metrics London: A Poetic Biography Leiden: Mellen, Parkinson, Stephen ed. Historical writing has a long Iberian lineage, with native Iberian historians such as Lucas of Tuy Chronicon Mundi, pre-dating the emergence of Portuguese historiography. When transferred to the Parliament Building in S.
Bento in it officially became the Arquivo Nacional da Torre do Tombo National Archive of the Archive Tower , a name it retained in its move to a purpose-built archive complex in the University of Lisbon in Vincent, patron saint of Lisbon. All translations from Old Portuguese are by the author.
In this way Lopes signals that he is marshalling historical materials, not just retelling them. Less obvious, and only slowly being uncovered by current research, is the extent of his overall debt to other historical narratives, and the extent to which he reproduces, paraphrases, abbreviates, expands, and rewrites them.
Lopes is disarmingly candid and often robust and trenchant in identifying and usually resolving questions of disagreement between his sources: If at this point you read that the Castilians cut their lances and made them shorter than was their custom, know it to be true and doubt it not …8 There was no advantage to the Portuguese in their choice of battleground, nor hills or valleys to confuse the enemy, as some ill-meaning writers narrate in their books. Lopes equally excels in expressing the complexity of chronological sequence and of interacting forces, which his sources typically reduce to a monotone chronological sequence, in order to pursue simultaneous narratives: The third strand in the literary argument, the prophetic, is not stated: This is added to the emergence of the common people, the povoo,12 as a political force: The main streets were too small for them, and they went by alleys and byways, each one trying to be the first.
Lopes expresses wonderment and revulsion at the violence meted out to perceived enemies a bishop, an abbess, even a notary. The same observation and literary force is deployed in the descriptions of Oporto preparing to welcome the Master, and of Lisbon awaiting news of the final battle. Lopes catalogues the names thrown at them by the nobility: In a memorable comic moment, the defeated captain of the castle of Portel takes his wife into exile in style, prefacing a parodic song with a bawdy gloss: Estampa, , p.
This passage was brought to my attention by Josiah Blackmore. Other snatches of verse are fired from the ramparts of Lisbon while it is besieged by the Castilians, and bons mots are tossed between disputing courtiers. The mechanics of a change of narrative become a personal change of view: And the Castilians, not wishing to contradict them, ran all the more.
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Gomes Eanes de Zurara? Son of a cleric, brought up at the court of Afonso V, he was groomed for royal patronage, and chosen as chronicler for his rhetorical skills. For Zurara the writing of history was a humanistic literary enterprise, deploying rhetoric for the noble end of recounting glorious deeds and ensuring the abiding fame of the great and those who served under them. The captains now take the role of valiant warriors: Zurara must nevertheless take the credit for recognising the common humanity of the Other, in his portrayal of the pathos of the separation of families in the first recorded slave market in Lagos.
He transferred his attention to theatres of war closer to home, in his lengthy accounts of the careers of the governors of Ceuta, Pedro de Meneses and Duarte de Meneses. The emerging Portuguese empire needed no justification or apology, only an unequal distribution of the glory and the credit for its inspiration. Recent linguistic research shows that the writings of King Duarte were in the vanguard of changes in the language. Pedro I, ed Giuliano Macchi, introd and tr. Teresa Amado, 2nd edn Lisbon: Torquato de Sousa Soares Lisbon: Pedro de Meneses, ed. Maria Teresa Brocardo Lisbon: Duarte de Meneses, ed.
Universidade Nova, Others Castelo perigoso, ed. Elsa Maria Branco da Silva Lisbon: Adelino de Almeida Calado Aveiro: Universidade, A Demanda do Santo Graal, ed. Adelino de Almeida Calado Coimbra: Universidade, Leal conselheiro: Orto do esposo, ed. Irene Freire Nunes Lisbon: Palgrave Macmillan, Deyermond, Alan ed. Oakley, The English in Portugal —87 Warminster: Variorum, —— Prince Henry the Navigator: A Life New Haven and London: Earle Gil Vicente Juliet Perkins On the night of 7 June , the royal apartments were invaded by a rumbustious figure, a herdsman sent on behalf of his village to find out whether it was true that the Queen of Portugal, Maria of Castile, had given birth.
He showers warm praise on the baby heir to the throne and his lineage before ushering in his companions to present their gifts of eggs, milk, honey and cheese, but not without muttering that they too will have to run the gauntlet of the pages at the door. It allows also a fleeting glimpse of the gulf that had opened up in sixteenth-century Portugal between courtier and peasant, palace and countryside, conspicuous consumption and subsistence diet, leisure and unremitting toil.
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It identifies the author as someone sympathetic to rural life and people, yet at ease and of some standing at Court. That standing can be explained by documentary evidence that the playwright of had been for some time a goldsmith in the service of Queen Leonor, Dowager Queen since Certainly, a document of in respect of his second son, Belchior, refers to him as no longer living.
If this biographical information is sparse, even more unclear is exactly when he started to write and what prompted him. We do know that the monologue of June was his own initiative. It pleased the Dowager Queen so much that she asked for more, and from then on he became an indispensable furnisher of plays for the Court. In the prologue addressed to his patron, he stated he would not have thought to publish them had he not been so commanded; if his works were worth remembering it was because many of them were devotional pieces directed to the service of God, and nothing of virtue should be left undone.
Manchester University Press, , p. Imprensa Nacional—Casa da Moeda, , pp. This is the only source for all but a fraction of his work. There is no mention of them in the first Index of prohibited books of , but in that of seven plays, all of which were circulating in chapbook or broadsheet form, were found wanting. It is widely held that the protection of the Queen Regent, Queen Catarina, was vital to ensuring that his work passed unscathed and that the Inquisition relented a little between and This was not the case for the second edition in , a severely mutilated version of the works, displaying a Counter-Reformation mentality in full spate.
Despite the corrections produced by the best efforts of scholars such as Braamcamp Freire and Vasconcelos, the chronology of the works remains tentative. Not all scholars have accepted this. Conde de Sabugosa, Auto da Festa. Imprensa Nacional-Casa da Moeda, , pp. Three Discovery Plays Warminster: In his preface to Don Duardos, c. The moralities, too, have a looser meaning than do their French and English 9 Thomas R.
Livraria Bertrand, , pp. Associated University Presses, Understandably, given his Christian faith in redemption and salvation, the one genre missing is tragedy. Another critical concern has been the lack of unified action, whether real or perceived. Many of the plays are episodic in structure, reflecting the processional nature of proto-theatrical representations, religious and secular, liturgical and courtly, with which Gil Vicente would have been familiar.
A fruitful comparison may be with the law court, where witnesses are called, questioned and heard, and then leave the room rather than linger to take part in a generalised discussion. In common with his contemporaries, Gil Vicente wrote for a bilingual court, at which Spanish poets and dramatists were well known and highly regarded. The four Queen Consorts who spanned his literary lifetime were all Spanish.
Out of his forty-seven plays and dramatic monologues, fifteen are totally in Portuguese, twelve are totally in Castilian, and the rest are a mixture of both. The speech of Portuguese gypsies, Jews, Moors and Africans is also characterised, and comic mileage is gained from foreign characters speaking their respective languages. A major element in Vicentine theatre itself totally in verse is its lyric poetry.
Songs permeate the plays, whether as extracts or in full. Many were pre-existing, but some were composed expressly by him. They develop both the argument of the plays and the psychological characterisation of the personages. The autos were almost all performed on royal premises, whether in chamber or chapel, in Lisbon or wherever the king was residing. It is likely that the royal members of the audience sat on a dais, their ladies-in-waiting perhaps on cushions whilst other spectators stood.
A good deal of information about staging and scenery is contained in stage directions or is embedded in the dialogue, 15 Stephen Reckert, From the Resende Songbook, Papers of the Medieval Hispanic Research Seminar 15 London: GIL VICENTE 61 and indicates that Gil Vicente had available to him, at least at some of the locations where his plays were put on, elaborate scenery and sets, a raised stage, and some means of control of lighting, to allow the performance of the numerous scenes which take place at night.
For indoor performance he would have used torches or candles, to be dimmed at will; outdoors, curtains could have been positioned to allow or exclude light. As court playwright, Gil Vicente was obliged to reflect royal policy and power, its overseas enterprises in military, religious or colonising spheres. Where panegyric and propaganda are evident, they are expressed with subtlety.
This intimate circle, however, was not a watertight compartment. He was a conduit of knowledge, presenting a crosssection of society that Court and courtiers might choose to ignore, whether or not it was meant to constitute a source of amusement. His plays kept in view also the countryside from which many had recently gravitated to Lisbon, left depopulated by the peasantry and undirected by the landowners and gentry.
In return, the chapbook editions of his plays bear witness to their wider reception by the populace. All the texts repay close attention, not the least for their inexhaustible source of information and insight into sixteenth-century Portugal. The following discussion of plays which makes no pretence at being comprehensive will be grouped under three broad categories: Editorial Inova, , pp.
His sudden access of erudition amazes his companions, an erudition that he accepts as the God-given gift of tongues. This opposition between the contemplative and active life is sketched out in the next play, Auto dos Reis Magos Play of the Wise Men , with the additional hint of class differences when the shepherds come across the page attending the Three Kings on their journey to Bethlehem. In this play, performed at Madre de Deus, she asserts her refusal to marry on the grounds that it is a form of captivity. On the other hand, she rejects the idea of becoming a nun.
Her head is turned by her conviction that it is she who will bear the Messiah. Though spiritual enough to receive a divine message, she fails to understand that her presumption disqualifies her from being the Blessed Virgin. During the action, Cassandra progresses from resistance to the good advice given by the Old Testament prophets and the sibyls of Classical Antiquity, through her refusal of the truth, towards acceptance of the reality when faced with the Virgin and Child, and finally her joining in worship and hymn singing, urging on the soldiers of Christ. For all their apparent simplicity, the pastoral autos contain ambiguity and irony.
Such is the ornateness of a cross, that they fail to recognise it as such. It is left to Faith speaking Portuguese to enlighten these rustics. However, the last laugh is not on her, nor on the congregation at Matins. We have, in embryo, the dichotomy that Gil Vicente would raise more than once, between the lost simplicity of the early Church and its sheepskin-wearing pastors, and the over-elaborate and empty ritual of his day.
This fantastical work, based on a series of monologues by the various characters and personifications, is another illustration of universal homage to the Christ Child. His talent for sweetening the bitter pill of dogma comes to the fore in the Auto da Barca do Inferno, the first of three satires in which the dead face judgement and are sent on their way to Hell, Purgatory or, very rarely, to Heaven. In this evergreen morality, a series of characters traipse to and fro between the ships of Hell and of Heaven, learning from a garrulous devil and a laconic angel why they are condemned to eternal damnation.
A nobleman, a usurer, a cobbler, a friar, a bawd, a Jew, a magistrate, an advocate and a hanged thief have all sinned according to the opportunities their station in life or occupation have allowed and have failed to earnestly repent. The only characters to escape damnation are a simpleton, pure in intention if not in speech, and four knights who have died defending the Faith in North Africa. Since Cassandra also rejects the veil, she is not seeking the independence and autonomy that the religious life was able to give.
What distinguishes these souls is that they are penitent, albeit only at the last minute. At their piteous tears, Christ arrives to bear them off, rather as if he were harrowing Hell, except that He is already risen. Whether they go directly to Heaven or have to pass through Purgatory is not specified. For his most elevated religious play, the allegorical Auto da Alma Play of the Soul , performed for Maundy Thursday, Gil Vicente eschews damnation and punishment as he tracks the path of a Soul along the journey of life to an inn Mother Church , alternately urged on by an angel and delayed by a devil.
This beautiful and serene play combines wit, compassion, theology and optimism. In the late s, this serenity had disappeared. In the latter play, Rome, personified as a young girl over whom her friends are fighting, can bring nothing to the Christmas exchange-fair that will allow her to acquire peace, truth and faith. Into this picture of religious discord are integrated two farmers, discontented with their respective wives, epitomising the disharmony of the world.
The last part of the play features a lively band of country lads and lasses who raise spirits with their flirting chit-chat and exchanges with the Seraphim. From him, they learn of the true purpose of the Fair and its patroness, the Virgin, to whom they sing a beautiful lyric of praise. The details of their complaints reveal harsh lives, blows of fate and injustices.
Juggling Portuguese and Castilian lovers with skill while her husband is away on this voyage to get rich — though against a seemingly illogical chronology — the wife is a born survivor. Both accept at face value the account that each gives of their lives during their separation. The farce of the Velho da Horta The Old Man and the Garden is pitiless in its mockery of an old man lusting after a pretty young girl. His cupidity leads to his penury, since he falls into the clutches of a rapacious procuress, Branca Gil. The girl warns him at the outset that his folly will bring his downfall, but he will not be deterred.
He even tries to court the maiden in the language of palace poetry, which the courtiers in the audience would recognise as theirs. In part, a victim of love when taken out of its appropriate framework, the old man brings his wife and four children down with him, for they are left penniless. Most acutely observed is the argument that ensues between the two women.
Isabel furiously points out the inconsistency of presenting an elegant, leisured face to a suitor, whilst having to do the household chores. Gil Vicente treated courtship and marriage seriously as well as humorously. Imprensa Nacional—Casa da Moeda, , vol. It opens with the widower lamenting the death of his beloved wife, with whom he had lived a harmonious existence. Through obstinacy or lack of experience, she prefers good looks and sweet talk from an impecunious squire, who turns tyrant on marriage. The last scene shows her riding on his back to a meeting with a former admirer, now a hermit.
The first two are comic characters but the Castilian is presented seriously no doubt in deference to the importance of that country in relation to Portugal. Fama treats her suitors to a history and geography lesson, turning them down on the grounds that Portuguese conquests, commerce, military power and defence of Christianity against Islam, render insufficient anything that they can offer. As she is crowned with laurel by Faith and Fortitude and borne away in a triumphal car, the message is made clear: Christian Portugal has achieved superiority over the Ancient World.
As a contrast to the main action, a parody of courtly love is supplied by a wild man, Camilote, and his ugly lady, Maimonda. Occasional, festival and allegorical plays These spectacular entertainments, to mark royal betrothals, births, ceremonial entrances, and so forth, allowed Gil Vicente free reign to his fantasy. They have never proved the most popular texts for analysis, and it is all too easy to relegate them as examples of superficial flattery and propaganda.
Cambridge University Press, , p. Angelus Novus, , are exemplary in this respect. In accordance with the spirit of regeneration that the love match will bring to Portugal, a Forge of Love is set up in which a succession of characters are transformed. If the crooked figure of Justice is a predictable candidate, the most touching individual is a black African from Guinea. He enters the forge with the desire to emerge white. This he does, but his speech remains that of a black African. Comedy moves into pathos as Gil Vicente sketches the isolation and dismay of a man with a split racial identity, rejected by both white and black women.
Gil Vicente was very far from being the only Portuguese dramatist of the sixteenth century to put a black man on stage. They figure in the work of other playwrights, and the traffic was not all one way, because it is very likely that one writer of religious autos had an African mother. His work, and the autos of many other popular dramatists of the sixteenth century, are only now beginning to appear in modern editions.
Their study and appreciation will be a task for future generations of scholars. When we add to these the experiments in humanistic comedy of Jorge Ferreira de Vasconcelos we have another body of work which remains for the most part hardly known. It owes nothing to Gil Vicente and it had no immediate successors. It belongs to a brief period in the s in which a fully developed classical aesthetic could blend with a Catholic world view to produce a play of the highest literary and human quality.
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That blending will be the theme of this brief account. Ferreira was probably aware of contemporary Italian tragedy, and he certainly had before him the Roman tragedies of Seneca. Ferreira approached this material with the sensibility of a sixteenth-century Catholic. One of the features of classical, and of all tragedy is a sense of fate.
The king tries to absolve himself of responsibility, but cannot. The fate of which he speaks is not the pagan fatum but his own weakness and his failure to control his son. The Castro is also a political play, and its message is a clear one. It is that an immoral act — the execution of an innocent woman — cannot have favourable political consequences. They are not wicked, and are willing to take 26 George Buchanan, Tragedies, ed. Peter Sharratt and P. EARLE personal responsibility for their actions ll.
They reason that if Pedro cannot be persuaded to obey his father voluntarily then force is the only solution. Once again Ferreira shows how events seem to lead inevitably to tragedy, but could nevertheless have been different if the right human decisions had been made. She is the only character to develop on stage, from the innocent girl of Act I, who allows her man, Pedro, to think for her ll. This is a moment of true empowerment, as the king is forced to admit: Vive, enquanto Deus quer.
I shall leave you. Live, while God is willing. Yet in the end the king, for the reasons we have seen, is not strong enough to bear the burden. Ferreira leaves the audience in no doubt about what should have happened, but is much less certain whether what is desirable is possible, given the vagaries of human nature, and the multiple pressures that those in positions of responsibility have to bear.
Castro is a tragedy. Farces and Festival Plays, ed. Hart, 2nd edn Eugene: There is a translation: Caixotim, Dias, Baltasar, Autos, romances e trovas, ed. Alberto Gomes Figueira Lisbon: Twayne, Stathatos, Constantine C. That contribution is particularly relevant under four headings: There were, however, two significant modifications: The primordial expression of this consensus came from the pen of an Italian cleric, Girolamo Vida, in his De arte poetica , The Art of Poetry.
Moreover, as Vida recommends, he regularly re-invokes them, and this device signals at various stages in the epos that he has carried out the appropriate research. Vida had insisted that the hero should not be named at the outset, that his identity should grow obvious by allusion. As to the expression of moral maxims, the poeticists differed. These incidents 1 All translations are original. References to the text will indicate canto, stanza and line.
Bacchus, indeed, plays a role similar to that of Juno in the Aeneid. At first sight that role seems rather odd: The family rift is explained by the fact that in Greco-Roman mythology Bacchus had supposedly grown up in the hills and vineyards of western India and there had founded the legendary city of Nysa I. Consequently, the landfall of Gama and his mariners at Calicut on the Malabar coast of western India was grimly to be prevented.
To this is added a deft suggestion of a more diabolical and Satanic role. That trap had been earlier prepared by Bacchus by deceiving two convict mariners who had been sent ashore at the Muslim-ruled island of Mombasa: Bacchus had failed with his arguments at the Council of the Gods on Mount Olympus in Canto I 20—41 and had gone on to suffer setbacks at the Muslim-ruled islands of Mozambique, Kilwa and Mombasa. In Canto VI, therefore, he descends into the realms of Neptune, turning the aquatic gods and Aeolus the god of the winds against the mariners.
Here, however, there is poetic licence, for the tempest in question, according to the chroniclers, took place in the Atlantic and not the Indian Ocean. The episode of the giant Adamastor V. The role of Adamastor was doubtless suggested by that of the Homeric and Virgilian giant Polyphemus, the Cyclops. However, the French critic Voltaire, with his eighteenth-century neoclassical taste, criticised the episode of the Isle of Love in Canto IX in that it was to him absurd and did not tally with the precept of natural explanation.
The current of speculative humanism had survived from antiquity and by the early sixteenth century had developed into the Neoplatonic theories of the celebrated Florentine school led by Marsilio Ficino. Such a scale, for the Neoplatonists, involved physical love, spiritual love, love of country, and, via these, the love of and for the Godhead: All converge and are transfigured in the episode of the Isle of Love that dominates Canto IX, an episode itself stage-managed by a Renaissance Venus worthy of the brush of a Botticelli or a Raphael.
Cultured Renaissance man was a great syncretist: Thus, we have four levels: The separate current of the humanism of reform was neither speculative nor hypothetical, but down-to-earth and pragmatic. We find it in the classical scholarship of such Renaissance figures as Erasmus of Rotterdam or Ariosto. Learning had to be harnessed to effect the regeneration of society and of the individual.
With roots both in classical antiquity and in the Middle Ages, it was a reforming and essentially Christian adaptation of humane studies, its more extreme developments culminating in the Reformation and the partial dismemberment of the Roman Church. Primary objects of this critical zeal were clerical abuses, warfare and greed. Erasmianism indeed had considerable vogue in Portugal, firstly at the Royal Court in the mids, and secondly at the University of Coimbra in the late s, before finally being crushed by the newly formed Jesuits and the clamp-down imposed by the Counter-Reformation.
With only the thinnest of veils he uses stanzas in Cantos VIII and IX to lambast the greed of the clergy for earthly wealth and power and to criticise their abuse of that power when won. Official censorship was too stupid to notice this. Common to his lyrics, his theatre and his epic poem are frequent warnings and exhortations on the duties of both kings and their ministers. Their shortcomings, along with those of the feudal nobility, he regularly condemned, in harmony with so many writers of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.
He shows concern particularly for the poor and the lowly, but his pessimism is not one of defeatist acceptance. Rather, he shows a practical concern for the regeneration of society by urging those who seek fame to reverse the trend: But to the reading public, which had naturally and recently increased since the invention of typography, they were of striking novelty and reassurance. One particular crescendo of demand from this brand of humanism was for the outlawing or limitation of war.
The list of protesting voices is formidable: Here warfare is cursed and reviled, as is the very greed, bent on seizing the property of others, that exposes wretched soldiers to the torments of Hell and deprives so many hapless mothers and wives of their sons and husbands. The only aggressive war he will countenance, he says, is Holy War waged to promote and spread Christianity IV. That sixteenth-century Portugal was in no sense on the periphery of political debate is evident from the decision of three prominent political thinkers to spend lengthy sojourns on Portuguese soil.
Apart from the question of warfare, the Renaissance theorists concerned themselves with five main issues: Its only occurrences we have already noted: In the log-jam of Renaissance opinions on the sources of kingly power we find absolutists, pragmatists, and between them a variety of moderates. Not only did kings have a divine mandate, but the Portuguese kings also had a divine mission, namely to encircle and crush the Infidel.
He was not, therefore, a total absolutist. If only on a consequential basis, he approved of the deposition of Sancho II: This is obvious hyperbole. The jus gentium, the Law of Nations, a major topic for many Renaissance political theorists, was an embryonic universal declaration of human rights and looked forward to the political philosophies of Locke and Rousseau.
On other matters, such as the right to private property and the equitability of law, his political thinking is quite liberal. In regard to private property we have noted his championing of the cause of the poor, their right to enjoy the fruits of their labours and to be protected from unjust taxation. The Heathen to him was usually badly governed and abused. This uncomfortable doctrine took until the Portuguese Revolution of to be abandoned. This venerable figure had warned those about to weigh anchor against the folly of questing for global outreach when the Infidel lay so close at hand in northern Africa: These aspects he hastened to condemn in his last Canto and in his celebrated letter from Goa.
What then must be our conclusion? That depends… In one respect, his humanism is slightly disappointing. In the twenty-first century Western thinking is becoming less inwardly eurocentric. There remains one final qualification. Insofar as the Renaissance was not homogeneous, it cannot, truly speaking, be epitomised in its entirety. No work of art or literature can epitomise the spirit of an age, if it is felt that an epitome must also be a catalogue.
Scholar, lover, minor courtier, demi-monde swashbuckler, disfigured soldier, jailbird, exile, shipwrecked mariner, colonial administrator, recurrent pauper, playwright and versatile poet, his biography alone cannot fail to fascinate and not merely on account of its unsolved mysteries. It bears the extraordinary claim that he was shipwrecked five times, taken captive thirteen times and sold as a slave sixteen times while, nevertheless, making his fortune.