In this paper
a parallel is established between the sum total of obscene allusions which
Sancho makes whenever he comes across a sexually desirable young woman, and
those that are made in the «danza guiada»
inLa ilustre fregona.
In both cases the divergent handling of
improper and abnormal attitudes with respect to love reveals the ideological
filter through which Cervantes views the country bumpkin to whom he can ascribe
positive values, as opposed to the urban infra-world, which he represents in a
much harsher manner.
analyzes various demonomaniacal manifestations in Cervantes' work: What is the
role of the devil? Does Cervantes' devil belong to the philosophico-religious
apparatus of Christianity? What is the nature of his sagacity? How does he
operate when he doesn't delegate his powers to witches or
activities of the Moriscos during the Golden Age occupied a shadowy middle
ground between their own cultural heritage and the demands of the Christian
society in which they lived. That society defended itself against their
competition (in a process of increasing corporativism) by legal measures which
sought to ban them from officially practicing medicine. For that purpose such
distortions as accusations of magic, and hence, of heresy, were used against
them. In his
Persiles Cervantes distinguishes between
sorcery and magic, and develops his ideas, above all, in two case histories:
one featuring Moriscos (Cenotia), the other, Jews (the wife of Zabulón).
The methods in the two cases differ, although both involve love stories.
Cervantes' treatment of the subject is anecdotal, hackneyed, and almost
This paper is
an interpretation of the text in the
Coloquio de los perros where Berganza
heeds the flattery of an «extremely beautiful girl» whom the dog
approaches «as if to see what she wanted» (to seize the meat he was
carrying). The text is permeated with eroticism. Berganza approaches «as
if to see», but his private reasons are less admissible. Hence the pun:
«flesh [in the basket] has gone to flesh» [of erotic desire]. We
explain the trick of the clog and interpret the cryptic message: «just a
hair of the wolf, and that from its forehead».
the very few episodes in which eroticism is literally expressed, there are many
other passages in the novel which allow of a double meaning -one innocent, the
other ribald. We shall point out some of these words and phrases which were
formerly used with an erotic meaning. It would certainly be absurd to read such
Don Quixote if these expressions did not
occur in clearly allusive contexts. However, the fact that they are imbedded in
such important aspects as Don Quixote's name, his profession as knight errant,
and the description of Sancho Panza proves that Cervantes relied on this sort
of humor not only in his
Ocho entremeses -as has already been
demonstrated- but in his masterpiece as well.
fondness for the subject of sorcery is manifest not only in the well
knownColoquio de los perrosbut also in many other areas of his work,
among whichPersiles y Sigismundaparticularly stands out. In the concluding
chapters of that novel the heroine is bewitched by means of a malignant spell
cast by a Jewess who resides in Rome. The episode is a sort oftour de forcewhich culminates a series of difficulties
the lovers Periandro and Auristela have had to undergo. We shall point out an
interesting parallel with a similar situation inLa española inglesa,
as well as some classical antecedents from
the Greek narrative of adventures.
Cervantes' work have been unanimous in poing out the rather shocking eroticism
El viejo celoso. Nevertheless, though
much has been written about Cervantes' uninhibited portrayal of highly obscene
material in this work, scholars have not yet analyzed his masterful use of a
colloquial vocabulary rich in double meanings. I shall demonstrate that for the
seventeenth century audience, the play's
language was at least as scandalous as
the behavior presented on stage.
proposed various explanations of Don Quixote's madness, such as an excess of
melancholy or of choler. I argue in this paper that demoniacal possession is
another possibility. In
Don Quixote the protagonist's behavior
often suggests possession by the devil; in fact other characters often confuse
Don Quixote with the devil. I interpret an episode in II, 62 in which Don
Quixote exclaims: «Fugite, partes adversae!» as a sort of exorcism;
and I also examine the similarities between Don Quixote's trampling by swine
(II, 68) and the most famous exorcism in the Bible.
Novelas ejemplares present several
autonomous communities or microcosms, one of which is the double -mainly
female- world of witches in the
Coloquio. While sorcery is a solitary
art, witchcraft is a community practice, a cult. The community of witches has a
double existence: it is a secret and geographically dispersed society which
really only functions as a community when it comes together for the witches'
Sabbath. This countercommunity is distinguished by its feminine practices,
beliefs, and relationships. In view of the limited relations between women in
Cervantes' novels, this focus on a female community is of extraordinary
interest, showing an alternative society and eroticism, and the mystery of
as men first appeared in the Madridcorralesin 1587. Because of its obvious erotic
appeal, the practice was banned in the theater regulations promulgated in 1608
and 1615, but playwrights and actors found ways to get around the prohibitions.
Cervantes made very little use of the technique, and this can be interpreted as
a criticism of Lope de Vega and other contemporary