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El Consejo de los Dioses/ Council of Gods

`El Consejo de Los Dioses (The Council of the Gods) is an allegorical play written in 1879 by our national hero
Jose Rizal. It was first published in Liceo Artistico Literario de Manila review in 1880, latterly in La Solidaridad in 1883.
In December 1900 this was translated in Tagalog. This version was adapted into sarswela by Pascual H. Poblete and
published in El Comercio de Filipinas. Hucapte made arrangements for the staging in 1915 afterwards, in 1961 it was
edited with a prologue by Astrana Maria in El Cervantismo de heroe Filipino Rizal. Nick Joaquin translated the play in
English. The play won the first prize award in a 1880-1881 literary contest commemorating the death of Cervantes
sponsored by the Liceo Artistico Literario de Manila. I enter the future remembering the past, Rizal's epigraph for the
award. This is considered as the most sensuous of Rizal's writings, reveals his magnificent showy side as hispanist and
classicist.

Background
In 1880, when Jose Rizal was studying at the University of Santo Tomas (U.S.T.), he joined another literary contest
sponsored by the Artistic-Literary Lyceum which commemorates the 264th death anniversary of Cervantes, Spains most
glorified man-of-letter and world-renowned author of the classic Don Quixote.
Scholars, journalists, writers, priests, and professors from U.S.T. participated just as Rizal did. This time, he submitted an
allegory in prose, El Consejo de los Dioses (The Council of the Gods).
Full-blooded Spaniards composed the Board of Judges. They judged each entry without first knowing the authors, since
the contestants used pen names. From there, after reading all the entries, they proclaimed Rizals work as first prize.
However, when they discovered his identity, they took away his laurel and granted it to a Spaniard, D.N. del Puzo, a writer
linked with the Diario de Manila. One of his other competitors was rumored to be Father Evaristo Arias, a Dominican
writer, but according to investigations, that was not true. Afterwards, the judges conducted a serious and careful appraisal
of all the writings, and they finally proclaimed Rizal as the winner. They awarded him an anillo de oro con el busto del
Principe de los Ingenios Espanoles. (gold ring with the bust of the genius prince of Spain)

Summary
Jupiter, the Roman chief of the Gods, is planning to give three grandiose gifts (a golden lyre, trumpet, and a golden crown
made of laurels) crafted by Vulcan to a mortal who did best in literature. Juno, Jupiters wife, suggests Homer, the
writer of Iliad. Meanwhile, Venus, thegoddess of beauty, recommends Virgil, author of Aedes. On the other hand,
Minerva (goddess of wisdom) goes for Cervantes, author of Don Quixote. With this disagreement, the other gods were
also supposed to fight but were stopped by Jupiter by allowing Justice (a goddess not found in the original Roman lineup
yet introduced by Rizal in his allegory) to weigh the circumstances without any bias in her balance. She weighed the
Aedes with the Iliad and found them equal. The same goes with Don Quixote. With this, Jupiter decided to give the
lyre to Virgil, the trumpet to Homer, and the laurels to Cervantes.

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