Lope's El bastardo Mudarra appears at first glance to be a simple reenactment of the historical-legendary material concerning the Siete Infantes de Lara. While this is, without doubt, one of the many levels of the play, other interpretations exist and are equally valid. If we as spectators view the play in light of the Medieval-Renaissance conception of history as a moral account of the world, in which God's purposes were made manifest, then the secular material functions to commemorate an Urform , the greater cosmological epic having to do with the Fall of Man and the Christian themes of temptation, transgression, atonement, salvation and regeneration. Lope's perception of the function of Mudarra in history differs significantly from that of the historical accounts. In this sense, then, the play imitates the greater Providential design at work within the universe. Project MUSE promotes the creation and dissemination of essential humanities and social science resources through collaboration with libraries, publishers, and scholars worldwide.
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The Cantar de los Siete Infantes de Lara "Song of the Seven Lara Princes" is a legend, perhaps derived from a lost cantar de gesta , that relates a tale of family feuding and revenge, centering on the murder of the eponymous seven infantes , princes, of Lara or Salas.
The legendary tradition of the Infantes de Lara has also been developed though ballads. Some more recent scholars have rejected this, dating the story to shortly before the surviving prose versions. The irate Gonzalo and his brothers respond by killing the servant at Lambra's feet, spattering her with her servant's blood. Unbeknownst to him, he carries a letter that tells Almanzor of Ruy's plans to have the infantes ambushed and murdered, and requesting that the letter bearer likewise be killed.
His painful laments for his sons represent one of the most emotional in all of Castilian epic tradition  Almanzor takes pity on him and merely has him imprisoned. In the earliest surviving version, a female servant is assigned to tend to him, and they fall in love and have a sexual liaison.
He takes a ring and breaks it in two, keeping one half and leaving the other to be given the child, so that later they will be able to recognize each other by matching the two sides. He deduced this from the abundance of assonant rhymes and other features common to epic literature that are retained in the chronicle prose. There is a consensus among philologists that there was a Cantar de Los Siete Infantes de Lara , as the verses of the epic were not overly disturbed. Attempts have been made to reconstruct the original Cantar.
In this regard, Mercedes Vaquero has identified signs in the prose texts of oral delivery, suggesting that at some point there was a lay that was either spoken or sung. The Cantar de los Siete Infantes de Lara or de Salas refers to the historical situation in Castile about , and this has been used to date the poem, although not all scholars agree that the epic predates , as this would place it before the great French epic cycles that could have been its inspiration.
Barton states that recent analysis places the origin of the story in the 13th century. In this regard, Carlos and Manuel Alvar note that many of the primitive motivations expressed in the Cantar de Los Siete Infantes de Lara relate more with the Scandinavian and Germanic epics such as Nibelungenlied than with the Romance epics.
These include the importance of blood ties, the cruelty of revenge as a way of imposing an individual justice not supported by social institutions or a body of law, and the aggressiveness of passionate sexually-charged relationships. Erich von Richthofen in his studies of this epic has pointed to numerous analogies with the epic of central and northern Europe,  in particular stating that in addition to many original Castilian elements and motifs, the epic of the Lara princes has many in common with the Thidrekssaga - the disgrace of Odila and her husband Sifka's planned revenge, his collaboration with his friend the governor, Fridrek's trip with his six companions and their ambush by the governor that leads to the death of the seven knights; plus details provided to the episodes of the death of Egard and Aki at Fritila, the theme of skulls sent to a father, and the revenge of the Hogni's son.
The idea of a Muslim woman assisting a prisoner to escape plays a role in other popular stories of the time. Orderic Vitalis tells an analogous story relating to Bohemond I of Antioch , while such an episode also appears in the Prise d'Orange , a 12th-century Chanson de geste.
He does not assert that all the characters are historical, indeed, he was not able to find any historical evidence for the majority of the characters. Its poetic elements included the deaths of the infantes and their avenger, Mudarra. Alan Deyermond notes that the background story contains common and universal themes of folklore, such as the letter ordering the death of the messenger a point of commonality with Hamlet , the love of a young woman for her brother's captive, and the protagonist's mysterious ancestry.
A partial list includes:. Since ancient times several monasteries have exhibited relics of the legendary Siete Infantes. Such links with prestigious heroes be they real or fictional and the pilgrims attracted by them provided these ecclesiastical establishments with increased economic resources.
VIAF ID: 178201878 (Work)
Cantar de los Siete Infantes de Lara
ISBN 13: 9788476659618
El bastardo Mudarra