Forms of Love in Spanish Medieval Times - Essay Sample

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Vanderbilt University
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In literature, authors always target to present human feelings such as love in different ways. In the Medieval Spanish period, love was one of the major themes that most poets and authors focused on. It was a time when most readers and composers focused on different forms of love that human beings are likely to exhibit. About seven forms of love exist that from which poets and authors can select to represent in their works. Some of the forms of love include romanticism, courtly love, family love, agape love and love of the self. All these forms of love can be expressed under different situations using different approaches. This paper will discuss the forms of love in medieval Spanish from the work of Celestina, Tragicomedia de Calisto y Melibea.

Romantic love is one of the forms of love depicted in the work of Celestina. Calisto and Melibea are the two people who have been presented as to have this kind of love. Calisto fell in love with the Melibea when he was entering a garden, and they began to court. In the book, it has been stated that hallo alli a Melibea, de cuyo amor preso, comenzole de hablar. This implies that Calistoga fell in love with Melibea that proceeded to the stage of courtship. It can be argued that instances such as love, at first sight, were a common trend in the medieval works. The author intended to show the clients how these two lovebirds started the love journey.

Lust is another form of love that has been depicted in the works of Celestina. This is a form of love that entails love of the flesh and not deep love that can lead to marriage. The type of lust that has been presented in this narration involves love relationships with multiple partners. For instance, Celestina is said to have this kind of relationship with a servant, Sempronio, and another man known as Calisto. It has been indicated that Entretanto que Sempronio esta negociando con Celestina, Calisto esta razonando con otro criado suyo, por nombre Parmeno. According to this excerpt, Sempronio, a servant, often made love with Celestina. However, at one point, when Sempronio intended to make love to Celestina, the mistress was entertaining another sweetheart known as Calisto. It is further revealed that the relationship between Celestina and Calisto is a secret relation which is not known to the public. This type of sexual relationship is known as fornication and can also be described as infidelity. Lust is also evident when Calisto describes the beauty of Melibea. This proves that Calisto is in love with the physical beauty of the lady. He states that En dar poder a natura que de tan perfecta hermosura te dotase y hacer a mi, inmerito. As much as this statement implies that Calisto is flirting with the lady, it also proves that Calisto lusts for the lady. Later in the story, Calisto begins to admit his love to Melibea insisting that he believes and loves Melibea. Another form instance of infidelity and lust is ensues during the conversation between Calisto and Sempronio. According to Sempronio, it is not good to bank all hopes on one woman in the same way Calisto has chosen to love Melibea. Semprenio tells Calisto, Es la miseria lo suficiente como para que un hombre sea cautivado y encadenado a un solo lugar. Calistop relates loving one woman to being a captive or chained to one place. Sempremio disputes the fact that loving one woman is consistency and describes it as obstinancy or pertinancy.

Calisto is obsessed with a beauty which makes him think of many impossible situations. Semprenio makes several attempts to question the feelings of the Calisto but in vain. Calisto is obsessed with a woman who shows little interest implying that the two cannot have a courtship relationship. While Smpremio insists that the woman is causing Calisto a lot of inconveniences, the later claims that the more the inconveniences the more the love grows. The exact words used by Calisto are: Veras, cuanto mas me digas a mi y a mi mas inconvenientes te pusiste delante de mi, cuanto mas amo su. No se como ni que es, pero seguro que soy ese asi es. This proves that Calisto is only obsessed by the beauty of the Melibea. Calisto compares the beauty of Melibea to the beauty of the stars. Calisto is keen to the point that he can describe the beautiful hair of Melibea by saying; Sus cabellos son mas finos y brilliant no menos que ellos; la longitud de ellos es hasta el mas bajo paso de su talon; ademas, son delicadamente peinados y vestidos y tejidos en nudos con curiosa cinta fina. In this statement, Calisto implies that the lady in question has the finest hair he has ever seen. He indicates that these aspects of beauty are part of the reasons that increase desire and lust.

Self-love is also evident in the story with a good example from the position held by Sempronio in the issues of love. According to Sempronio, men often forget about their interests and well being by getting obsessed with the beauty of women. He is concerned by the Calistos obsession for Melibea. According to Semprenio, Melibea lack of response to Calistos love is source of frustration that hurts Calisto. Celest admits that he is hurt by the fact that Melibea lacks to reciprocate his feeling. However, Calisto consoles himself by stating that, Porque donde el cielo da una herida, alli da un remedio; y como duele, entonces sana. This is one of the position that Semprenio disapproves because of self love.

Though not well elaborated in the story, Agape love is evident. The nature in which it has been presented proves that the characters in the story have weak agape love. Semprenio tells Celestina that he prays to one who is above. At one point, Calisto claimed that suffering came from the heavens which implies that he was pessimistic by thinking mystery was associated with Agape love.

The story of Tragicomedia de Calisto y Melibea presents various forms of love that were evident during the Spanish Medieval period. It has been established that the some of the most common forms of love were courtship, romance, lust, self-love and Agape love. Different people had different ways of expressing these forms of love.

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