Jorge Manrique was the greatest poet of fifteenth-century Castile and one of the three or four greatest in Spanish literature. Frank A. Domínguez offers here an introduction to Manrique's poetry and the first book-length study of him in English in fifty years.
After presenting the biographical and historical context of Manrique's poetry, Domínguez examines the poet's love lyrics, describing the large fund of commonplaces and forms that Manrique's verses share with those of other poets of his age. Manrique's highly stylized language and parallel verse structures express the obsession of the lover with the beloved. Moreover, his attention to parallel construe the world's greatest.
In treating the Coplas, Domínguez not only offers a sensitive reading of the elegy but also examines questions of text, structure, and style. Like the love lyrics, the Coplas present a high incidence of parallel structures that make for clarity and symmetry. Domínguez also finds that the complex stylistic relationships of the verses provide the Coplas with a unity that is deeper and more fundamental than has generally been perceived.
This study, eclectic in its critical approaches, will be the standard English work on Manrique for years to come.