SPN 373 • Early Spanish Literature
11:00 AM-12:00 PM
In this course we will study the process of myth making, as exemplified in the portrayal of the life of the Castilian warrior hero Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar, el Cid. This process begins with a Latin prose narrative composed shortly after Rodrigo's death in 1099, the Historia Roderici (we will use a Spanish translation). Subsequent portrayals include two epic poems, the well-known Cantar de mio Cid (c. 1207), and a rhymed narrative, the Mocedades de Rodrigo (c. 1300), in which Rodrigo emerges as a rebellious and dangerous youth. A brief thirteenth century prose account depicting Rodrigo as a loyal but ineffective vassal will be examined, followed by popular ballads on the Cid and the seventeenth century play by Guillén de Castro, Mocedades del Cid. The final heroic portrayal is one made specifically for American audiences, the 1961 Hollywood blockbuster, El Cid, starring Charlton Heston and Sophia Loren.
Regular class attendance and participation are required for the successful completion of this course. Student participation will be encouraged in a variety of active formats (20%); there will be a number of brief writing assignments (20%), a mid-term exam (30%), and a final exam (30%). Readings, class discussions, all exercises and exams are in Spanish.
Historia Roderici (photocopies) Cantar de mio Cid (www.laits.utexas.edu/cid/) Manuel Alvar, ed. Cantares de gesta medievales. Guillén de Castro, Mocedades del Cid.