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El concepto de la virtud en las "Novelas ejemplares" de Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

Carmen M Cedeno, University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Abstract

This study examines the ethical-moral features of Cervantes' Exemplary Tales [1613]. The hermeneutic approach employed brings to life human behaviour during the Baroque in the light of Platonic-Aristotelian-Thomistic intertexts. It illustrates with abundant information the weight of a centuries old ethical-moral system which motivated Spanish Golden Age society to pursue happiness, excellence and social order, one in which the cardinal and theological virtues played an important role in every aspect of human life. ^ The exploration, therefore, reveals Cervantes' perceptions of human relations, his concern with social harmony and his exemplary wisdom. Cervantes responded, as well, to the expectations of an evolving yet ancient literary canon, following in the path of authors such as Horace and don Juan Manuel whereby he expanded the horizons of his imagery and gave shape to his eminent and eclectic style of writing. The analysis shows that the author's objective as stated in his Prologue was in fact to guide his reader to greater practical wisdom in a subtle and entertaining way, perceiving the drama of life, the struggles, and rewards, as projected by his characters. It describes Cervantes' eutrapelia, one of his recognized and applauded qualities which aided him to document effectively yet with decorum the clash between opposing vices and virtues. The emphasis is on the topic of virtue particularly in the following novels: Rinconete y Cortadillo, La ilustre fregona, La gitanilla, La fuerza de la sangre, El amante liberal y El coloquio de los perros. However, the collection of stories is discussed as well from the perspective of modern literary critics. In the process of development of the study, contemporary critical concepts and terms have been consulted, such as Bakhtin's heteroglossia, Hans Gadamer's theory of “hermeneutic theory”, the “reader's theory” and, from the Russian Formalists, the concept of ‘defamiliarization.’ ^

Subject Area

Literature, Romance

Recommended Citation

Cedeno, Carmen M, "El concepto de la virtud en las "Novelas ejemplares" de Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra" (2004). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3126945.
http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/dissertations/AAI3126945

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