Perceptions of Magic in Medieval Spanish Literature

Perceptions of Magic in Medieval Spanish Literature

Perceptions of Magic in Medieval Spanish Literature

Perceptions of Magic in Medieval Spanish Literature

Synopsis

Magic often offered an explanation for the inexplicable in the ancient world. In the Middle Ages, as society progressed and Christianity proliferated, it became difficult to accept both magical and Christian tenets. Christianity developed its own brand of magic, politicians found accusations of magical practice and witchcraft useful, and the image of the Devil and hell inspired much fear. The concept of witchcraft developed during the late Middle Ages where, in some countries such as Germany, a Witchcraze ensued during the Renaissance. Spain, however, did not host a Witchcraze. Although the Spanish understood the concept of witchcraft, Spain preferred an outlook of skepticism toward the reality of magic and witchcraft. This skepticism is reflected in Spanish Church Councils, medical treatises, legal documents, and a wide array of literature. Magic and witchcraft, while feared by 'some in Spain, became a source of fantasy as well as a literary device for many. Jennifer M. Corry is Assistant Professor of Spanish at Berry College.
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