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The Quest for Spiritual Transcendence in the Theater of Gil Vicente

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Chapter Summary

Gil Vicente must be considered one of the founders of early Spanish drama along with Juan del Encina and Lucas Fernández. Gil Vicente's themes and motifs are closely related not only to the theater of Juan del Encina and Lucas Fernández, but also to the broader cultural, intellectual, and religious issues of 15th- and 16th-century Spain. Gil Vicente's religious works are imbued with a deep sense of transcendence, which characterizes medieval and Renaissance Neoplatonic and Christian ideas on the Soul, the Good, and the One (= God). Gil Vicente's plays, recogimiento is related to the melancholic condition of Gil Vicente's characters who seek spiritual transcendence, leading them to a deep feeling of repentance, to withdrawal from this world, and, to meditation and prayer. This recogimiento, would become suspicious for the Portuguese Inquisition, which censored many of Gil Vicente's works and put them in the Index of Forbidden Books.

Keywords: Gil Vicente; Juan del Encina; Lucas Fernández; Portuguese Inquisition; Spanish drama; spiritual transcendence



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