Los "Milagros De Nuestra Senora" de Gonzalo de Berceo y la Elaboracion Artistica de las Fuentes Latinas

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics

Subject Categories

Spanish Literature


In the study of medieval literary works there are yet vast regions to explore. One of them concerns the concepts of imitation and originality in artistic creation. Along with the development of the Romance languages and literatures existed a traditional Latin literature which served as a model for the authors who wrote in the vernacular. The study of medieval texts then, can not be made without consideration of these Latin sources which provide its themes, genres, and styles.

Utilizing the comparative method, this thesis studies both the traditional and the original in los Milagros of Gonzalo de Berceo. His innovations are not the result of mere change but rather exhibit certain consistent structural and stylistic features which form what could be called "the esthetics of the Milagros".

In the Introduction we examine the present state of the Milagro's scholarship. The Milagros must be studied within the framework of the medieval tradition in order to appreciate to what extent they remain loyal to their sources and to what extent they innovate and recreate the Latin Models.

The first chapter ("Composicion de los Milagros de Nuestra Senora") studies the composition of the Milagros. The plot lines can be reduced to a certain number of compositional patterns. In addition to two basic types (secuencia ascendente, secuencia descendente), Berceo develops a variety of configurations that can be grouped into: (1) simple derivative types, and (2) the complex derivative, which are the result of a combination of the simple and complex. We likewise examine the polarization of situations, and the amplification of particular actions barely evident in the Latin texts.

The second chapter ("Los personajes") deals with the characters. Abandoning psychological interpretation, the characters are studied in the light of the medieval doctrine of vices and virtues as a point of departure. The characters are analyzed from the point of view of the seven capital sins (gluttony, lust, wrath, avarice, pride, envy, and sloth), and each of them is exemplified in a detailed commentary of one or several milagros.

The third chapter ("Monologos y dialogos") studies the use of monologs and dialogs, both serving as a device to recreate and dramatize the situations and characters. To summarize the first three chapters we study the composition, characters, monologs, and dialogs of the milagro IX). ....


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