Modern Languages and Literatures, Department of


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Magdaleno Santamaría, Miguel. Acercamiento al Pensamiento Mágico y la Superstición en el Discurso Literario de la Primera Modernidad Española: Miguel de Cervantes y María de Zayas. MA Thesis, University of Nebraska-Lincoln. UNL Digital Commons, 18 July 2016. Web.


A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Arts, Major: Modern Languages and Literatures, Under the supervision of Professor Óscar Pereira-Zazo. Lincoln, Nebraska: July, 2016

Copyright (c) 2016 Miguel Magdaleno Santamaría


The purpose of this thesis is to serve as a first approach to magical thinking and superstition in the literary discourse of Early Modern Spain, by examining these topics in Miguel de Cervantes’ first Quijote (1605) and María de Zayas’ Novelas Amorosas y Ejemplares (1637). The methodology followed in this thesis fundamentally includes the points of view of four fields of study. These are: anthropology, history, literature and historical linguistics. Accordingly, this study is thematically divided into four big sections: first, a discussion around the concept of ‘magical thinking’ in relation to religion (from an anthropological point of view); second, a panoramic view of the ambiguous interface among magic, science and superstition in Early Modern Iberia (from a sociohistorical perspective); third, an analysis of how the topics of magic and superstition are presented in the selected works of Cervantes and Zayas (from a literary point of view); and fourth, a brief etymological study of eight basic terms related to the semantic field of ‘magic’ (from a historical linguistics approach).

Advisor: Óscar Pereira-Zazo