Fernando de Rojas, Celestina (1499)

This bilingual unit contains a brief introduction to the Spanish masterpiece Celestina, or The Tragicomedy of Calisto and Melibea, and a fragment from a dialogue in Act VII adapted for modern readers with notes, and a short bibliography.

Celestina deals with love, the decline of nobility, prostitution, witchcraft, money, death, and laughter. It also includes several medical beliefs that especially affect women´s health. Not surprisingly, it is one of those few works that has been continually read since its appearance in 1499, although it has often been accompanied by controversy and, at times, censorship. Today, Celestina remains as a groundbreaking creation, often seen as a piece that marks the transition in Iberia from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance.

Types of courses where the text might be useful: History, literature, and culture of medieval and early modern Spain; birth of novel; gender literature; history of medicine.

[English version] [Spanish version]

Have you used this unit in the classroom (or elsewhere)? Please share your experience in the comments!

 

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