You are on page 1of 3

Cervantes, Numancia and Entremes

El pensamiento de Cervantes
Americo Castro, humanism in Cervantes (Erasmaus)
Excellent book, but then he recants.
Christians, Muslims and Jews: he defines them as castes rather than class based
social distinction. Groundwork for people who talk about race. However, raza originally
meant family lineage, (lineage) but in Latin America in later time hardened into colonial
ideas of race. Attitudes that Spanish confronted in the Iberia import and transform in
Latin America; terms like morisca in caza paintings. Coincides with raise of natural
science and animal husbandry (names for racial convergence).
Numancia:
1580s as growing pains leading to mature Spanish theatre but not there yet. Wide
diversity of forms being used and performed on stage in 1580s, before Lope de Vega
develops the forms and conventions.
1515, ocho comedias and entremeses
as well as unperformed longer plays like Banos of Argel and La Gran Sultana;
Numantia was performed.
First time plays circulated for a reading volume; except the Cervantine plays that were
rejected by the theatrical companies.
Bakhtin has range of novelized genres, that other non-novelistic genres exhibit in other
forms. That he would publish plays for a readers audience who can glean more from
them then a play-going audience. Means more complex content, open endings which
audiences must resolve in their own mind (as in Quijote, which you get multiples
perspectives thrown at you which the reader must resolve in their own mind).
Numancia, 1583
Entremes performed between plays; Cervantes entremeses revealing ideas of limpieza,
integrity, showing Spanish honor as false.
Pasos of Lope de Rueda,
Typical of entremes; grandparent of entremes. Light comic fluff involving two or three
characters.
Las Zaytunas; husband and wife get in argument about planting olives in garden. Fight
over money that you get from planting olives and they havent planted them yet.
El Retablo is the most complex; itself a play within a play, which mimics generic purpose
of entremes. Commenting on relationship between audience and theatrical performance.
Metatheatrical. No wonder that theatrical companies would say we cant put this on.
La Cava of Salamanca, comes from Boccacio

Divorce Court, problematic marriage


End in a song that celebrates marriage; Cervantes parodying music that conventionally
comes at the entremes, the theme of the song is completely at odds with the stories that
are depicted.
El celoso extremeno: theme of jealous old man keeping his young wife under lock and
key. In Cervantes, novella exemplar of el celoso extremeno tied to The cave of
Salamanca, that is tied to the first marriage depicted in the Judge of Divorce Court.
From Boccaccio and folktale, and medieval literature
Entremes; fusion of elite and popular materials, and certain markers of Cervantes the
novelist impacting the plays/entemes. Qualties that made them difficult to perform made
them wonderful reading material for an audience of readers; and makes them popular
now.
Numantia
Reinterpreting classical tragedy.
Juan de la Cueva
Argensola brothers.
Other people trying to interpret Aristotelian views of tragedy for Spanish stage; the
Poetics had just been discovered in Spain. Not a classical Aristotelian. Blending of
traditions; Aristotelian, Seneacan (blending of blood and violence), comic traditions. Not
a faithful Aristotelian tragedy, but rather blending multiple antecedents to create a
Spanish style.
Historical drama on heroic theme expressed through classical precepts. How Numantinos
are depicted vs Romans (conquest, fame, victory). Personified figure of Fame denies him
at end. Binary of civilization and barbarism is inverted, Romans are barbarous in how
they are depicted; Numantinos are heroic, they talk of love, community, self-sacrifice.
Cervantes urges for audience to identify with positive values of the Numantinos. Mars.
Venusnurturing.
From perspective of Romans, Venus is weakeness; but the Numantinos show there is
strength from
Tiernos, amados, amorosos (loving), libre. Its the Numantinos built up as
Something inherent in Spain as a personified figure will be reborn in the moment of
Spanish empire; Cervantes is acknowledging the limpieza de sangre. The audience
believes themselves as rebirth of Roman empire, and their Christianity links them with
Visigoths. The prophecy of Duero (that Cervantes invented to summarize history for
audience) but to create a link between Visigothic and Christian spain.

Sharp spear and mercy must be combined in Spain; Cervantes says that Venus and Mars
must be combined. The audience will recognize that that kind of nobility, tenderness, self
sacrifice are positive values for Spain; and
Spain is now the empire conquering indigenous populations abroad; crisis, when Spain
about to lose empire. This is post-Las Casas. Moral crisis, will Spain go the way of Rome
or become a new form of empire? Fama at the end, speaks collectively to the audience;
Numantia fell according to the Prophecy, to allow Rome to come which fell, to allow
Goths to come. Numantia sacrified so we would be here this moment; this is upto us to
decide what the happy ending of our empire will be. Writing at end, when economy
starting to fail, when colonies are starting to become more indp, at cusp of Spanish
decadence, between Lepanto and the Spanish Armada.
Anagnoris in classical tragedy projects out in audience; its upto us to do sthg, to be better
ppl
Cervantes wants the reader actively engaged to participate, make sense of things, and
resolve things. Doesnt want idle readersfirst word of Quijote, idle reader why are you
reading my book?
Creation myth for Spanish empire, but also build a collective identity in audience around
values of Numantinos. Wants audience to reaffirm collectively these principles, between
past and present, between audience and actors.
Numantinos propose peace, singular battle (Romans want blood, destruction, conquest).