Friday, November 27, 2009

Final Exam Prep - Part 3

Uses of Classical Mythology in the Soledades:

Explores the use of Ovidian mythology in Soledades - begins by mentioning last 4 lines "each of which is a periphrasis for a mythical character"

Góngora's predecesors - Theocritus, Virgil, Boccaccio, Sannazaro

At this point, the copy the professor has provided is missing 2 pages - hope there's nothing important in there!

Presence of graeco-roman religion in pastoral in Sannazaro and Góngora. Sannazaro's references are always explained, never obscure.

*** Major quote which sums up article*** "[Góngora] eschews the straightforward ornamental description of a mythological tableau. He certainly uses myth in his pastoral for atmospheric purposes, but more figuratively than directly. Allusions to mythology lie thick upon the ground in the Soledades, but they are intrinsic to his expression rather to his matter. They illustrate and emphasize his meaning but are not in themselves part of his subject."

"Thus Baco confuso, Vulcán coronado, tanta Ceres, Neptuno, Febo, Venus are mixed wine, shepherds round a fire, rich crops, the sea, sun, love respectively with no suggestion of divinity or worship."

"Góngora, following Renaissance tradition, humanizes the world of nature by using metaphors from man and his activities, because he often uses Ovid's stories in reverse

"In the matter of classical pastoral Góngora depends more upon Virgil than upon any other classical author."

Accusation of obscurity rests on:
"constant use of allusive metaphor, an erudite and neologistic vocabulary, and different syntax."

Recurrent images:
Land/sea antithesis indicative of mistrust of commerce.
Ganymede and Adonis as types of masculine beauty.
Castor & Pollux in sonnets (320, 379) = St. Elmo's fire = hope amid the storm.
Power of Orpheus' song
Plants and animals - Nature

Menosprecio de corte etc.:
Bienaventurado albergue (I, 94-135)

Inserts poem into mythical realm:
II 460-464
II 584-597
"Whereas the rest of the Soledades can be explained and accepted on the plane of realism, these two episodes, and the hymeneal invocation they already discussed, seem to destroy for a moment the poise of the poem between fantasy and the poetical expression of reality"

Why did Góngora leave the Soledad segunda unfinished?
"In the Soledad segunda, the four references to this story [of Proserpina] serve no apparent purpose than that of periphrasis, in spite of the potential emotional and symbological significances the story offers. This is a very noticable falling away from the variety, aptness and ingenuity of the earlier parts of the poem. It does seem to suggest that one reason why Góngora left it unfinished was that he found his inventiveness failing, his pen diverging from his original intention."

"the legend of the mares who are made pregnant by the wind... is taken up by Góngora and applied with local patriotism to the horses of Andalusia (II, 724-728). This is the unique instance of precise geographical location of the Soledades and it is yet another distinction between the latter part of the poem and the rest, and again shows how far Góngora had moved from his original careful poise of uncommittedness."

Other examples of mythology in text:
I 7-8
I 1028-34
II 418-20
II 612-625
Spring and stream -> Snake (II 320-27)
Ocean -> centaur (9-13)

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