Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Animals in 'Celestina'

Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Animals in 'Celestina'

Article excerpt

Vicenta Blay Manzanera and Dorothy S. Severin, Animals in 'Celestina', Papers of the Medieval Hispanic Research Seminar 18 (London: Department of Hispanic Studies, Queen Mary and Westfield College, 1999). 47 pp. ISBN 0-904188-51-5. L6.00.

Roja's Celestina is replete from prologue to epilogue with a menagery of animals, from the ant to the whale. This is a popular area of study, and the authors have set out to produce a compendium of research, including some of their own. The material is presented in three forms: an act-by-act account, an overview, and a thesaurus. The animals (understood in a broad sense to cover all mammals, birds, reptiles, and insects, as well as mythical beasts such as the unicorn) are either present in the action, or cited as similitudes: the present study makes no distinction. It is a basic understanding that all the animals in Celestina bear some symbolic associations, and that such associations are almost entirely negative (principally lust and deceit).

Among those animals present in the action may be counted Calisto's hawk, the horse which his servant Parmeno curries (pp. 13, 24), and the animal parts with which Celestina stocks her laboratory. One item in this last category which is not commented on here is the snake's tongue ('lengua de vibora', p. 12), which was used to detect poison: a small example of the reptile's positive associations. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.