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About Gil Vicente. Gil Vicente. Gil Vicente, called the Trobadour , was a Portuguese playwright and poet who acted in and directed his own plays. Considered the chief dramatist of Portugal he is sometimes called the "Portuguese Plautus" and often referred to as the "Father of Portuguese drama. He rose to prominence as a playwright largely on account of the influence of Queen Dowager Leonor, who noticed him as he participated in court dramas and subsequently commissioned him to write his first theatrical work.
His plays and poetry, written in both Portuguese and Spanish, were a reflection of the changing times during the transition from Middle Ages to Renaissance and created a balance between the former time of rigid mores and hierarchical social structure and the new society in which this order was undermined. While many of Vicente's works were composed to celebrate religious and national festivals or to commemorate events in the life of the royal family, others draw upon popular culture to entertain, and often to critique, Portuguese society of his day.
Though some of his works were later suppressed by the Inquisition, causing his fame to wane, he is now recognised as one of the principal figures of the Portuguese Renaissance. More information at Wikipedia. Books by Gil Vicente. Trivia About Sibyl Cassandra, Here we find more complex forms, a great variety of personae, and a rhetoric midway in complexity between Amor and Amigo. Insult or mockery constitutes the essence of this rhetoric, though techniques vary greatly, including praising in order to blame, defending in order to accuse, and thanking in order to insult.
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Obscenity is normal in cantigas de mal dizer as mentioned in the Arte de Trovar , while in those de escarnho mockery is indirect. The physical and social world of the time, almost entirely absent in the other two genres, is present in force, making this genre, together with the Cantigas de Santa Maria CSM , a mine for the study of social and cultural history. And the lexicon is far larger than in either of the other two genres, rivalled only by that of the CSM.
The poetics of the insult reflected here bears comparison with the greatest masters of antiquity. In CEM the speaker can be anyone but is rarely female. The rhetorical intent, however, is always to insult or belittle. The object of the insult is normally an individual, although in some texts a class of people e. The rhetorical techniques by which the insult is articulated are extremely diverse, and this allows a brilliance of elocutio hardly possible elsewhere. Now let us look at some examples of each genre.
Limitations of space allow for only a few specimens. And, daughter, if you want my love, I ask you that you never talk with him Without me, oh lovely daughter. In the poem preceding this one the girl has asked her mother for permission to go and see the boy. In this poem the mother warns her daughter not to speak with the boy without her. Another mode of encryption is through symbols, as in this song 14 Bonaval 8. In the green meadows I saw the wild stags, My friend.
And with pleasure I washed my hair, My friend. And with pleasure I washed my tresses, My friend. I bound it with gold And waited for you, My friend. This is a song of waiting, but note that the girl has washed her hair a prenuptial rite also found in Sephardic songs and bound it an old Germanic custom denoting betrothal or marriage.
Catalog Record: The play of the sibyl Cassandra | HathiTrust Digital Library
The stags and fountains of Meogo have nearly come to symbolise the genre for many readers whose familiarity is restricted to anthologies, but in fact the stags occur only in Meogo and the fountains rarely outside his work. Her boyfriend claims he is dying and losing his mind, but he never completes either task.
If he were truthful he would go mad and drop dead. Cantigas de amor Some very early cantigas de amor hardly differ from early cantigas de amigo except in the gender of the speaking voice. Ai Deus, que mh-a fezestes mais ca min amar, mostrade-mh-a u possa con ela falar; se non, dade-mh a morte.
The lady I love and call my Lady — Show her to me, God, if you please, and if not, just give me death. That one that you made the most beautiful of all, oh God, please just let me see her, and if not, just give me death. Oh God, who made me love her more than me, show her to me, where I can talk with her, and if not, just give me death. In this song, which uses an aaB strophic form rare in Amor, common in Amigo , the speaker praises the lady, declares his love, loyalty and mortal suffering, and asks God either to grant him what he wants or to let him die.
Curiously, what he wants is to see her and talk with her — just as in the cantigas de amigo. And what will I do when he goes elsewhere to serve another Lady? What it suggests is rather that Amigolike songs existed before the earliest known Amor, and that the female-voiced tradition could be incorporated into the male-voiced genre. The dramatic complexity of the situation, which outstrips that of nearly any other cantiga de amor, could be attributed either to an early experimental stage in the development of the genre in the thirteenth century, or to a long-standing tradition which was subsequently abandoned in favour of simpler scenarios.
As the thirteenth century progresses the genre tends to become less flexible. What poets aim at is elegance of form and subtlety of argument and expression in handling a few fixed kinds of situation. Rare is the poem which stands out for the situation it represents. But there are exceptions, including parodies. Then this transgression is itself parodied. How did it get into a cantiga de amor, where references to the physical world are so rare?
CA Though she now shows me her frown Let her still come and take me down In the night, in the moonlight. Though she treats me really bad Let her still come and make me glad In the night, in the moonlight. Why cannot this be a cantiga de amor? How can we tell this is an insult and not an amorous invitation? There are several ways.
Oh no, there's been an error
First, though her name is not given, the woman is identified line 1 , violating the conventions of a cantiga de amor. Second, the speaker asks her to come out once more to a rendezvous at night, under the moonlight, a scandalous suggestion in the social context of the thirteenth century. And finally, this invitation, framed as if it were a romantic plea for reconciliation, clearly presupposes prior sexual activities. You see me here dying, and you lie there fucking Your woman. The careful placing of obscenities all located in the verse just before the refrain, and only used in the last two strophes is typical of the genre: part of the art of the insult is setting it up, and delivering it in climactic position.
The origins: scripts in the matrix In the body of song that preceded the thirteenth century there must have been songs that were formally, rhetorically, and pragmatically like those we find in the extant corpus of Galician-Portuguese lyric. The early trend after the Hebrew series was deciphered in towards seeing a genetic link between kharajat and cantigas de amigo seems now to have been over-hasty. If those possibilities mark the limit at one end that of reduction of the script, it is rare to find a script in Amigo that exceeds the general form given above, and those are texts where both strophic form and script overstep the boundaries of the matrix.
In Amor the elements of the script rarely vary much, while in CEM they can be almost anything. And you want to talk with me? You swore that no matter what, you would come willingly Before the day had ended; you broke your word, you liar! There are constraints on the possible combinations of speaker and addressee, which can be represented as in Figure 1. These combinatory possibilities, their flexibility and constraints, point to a pre-existing tradition; and together with the rhetoric and form of the cantigas de amigo, suggest that tradition was old.
It has the hallmarks of an oral genre of folksong that must have been at least centuries old when the first surviving texts were written down, roughly in the s. The early forms of Amigo aaB, aaBB, and kindred strophic designs and the rhetoric — whereby a script is slowly revealed — seem inextricably linked with the nature of the scripts.
Form, pragmatics and rhetoric are so intricately interconnected that to ask which came first seems a chicken-or-egg issue. This intimate interrelation between the main aspects of poetic composition leaving aside the music, about which we know very little also seems to underwrite the thesis, argued more than a century ago, that Amigo is rooted in native folksong from the north-west of the Iberian Peninsula.
But what about the other two genres? While there has been much debate about Amigo, most scholars blithely assume that Amor comes from France.
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The considerable formal debt of Amor to Occitan and Old French lyric is undeniable, and many scholars have pointed to clear thematic parallels. It seems likely that parallelism, certain strophic forms, and at least some of the thematics of Amor existed before any Occitan or French influence, but it is difficult to go much beyond that, since the genre has been so tinged or tainted by foreign sway that we cannot trace its stemma.
Only Lang, among the pioneers, seems to have understood that the poetry of insult must also have had deep roots in Iberia. I Madrid: Hernando, , pp. There is no comparably large body of verse in Occitan, Old French, or Italian; and CEM are certainly not, as Tavani has suggested, a kind of deformation of the Occitan sirventes by a people whose ethical and political intelligence was not up to that of those beyond the Pyrenees.
The Galician-Portuguese poetry of insult has nothing to do with the sirventes, and can legitimately be seen as a continuation of the Roman customs of convicium insult and reflagitatio public dunning. How could Alfonso X, and other monarchs and magnates, not only have tolerated but encouraged and enjoyed songs of insult?