Cervantes e Historias Psicosomáticas Amatorias: Don Quijote, un Manual de Modelos Literarios de la Melancolía del Amor
Lau, María Montserrat Castellá Serrés
This thesis examines the interrelationship between the literary expressions of love entwined in the construction of relationships among marriageable characters and the symptoms of melancholy. I am analyzing the correlations portrayed in the intercaladas stories in Don Quixote by Cervantes, and the symptoms of melancholy described in the scientific-medical-philosophical books of early modern Spain. Drawing from the medical writings of Francisco Valles, Alfonso de Santa Cruz, Juan Huarte de San Juan and the philosophical writings of Juan Luis Vives, and other influential writers, I argue how Cervantes created the characters and arguments by utilizing the symptoms of melancholy and the philosophical and theological thoughts of virtues and vices. I capture how pathological temperament, character, and conduct form the images that reveal the anomalous behavior that deviates from accepted social-cultural norms. I examine how the characters are formed of an altered perception that inclines them to transgress the rules. This investigation demonstrates how the characters are molded with afflicted moods that reveal the symptomatology of love sickness. I begin by exploring the love stories and isolating the subjective or objective symptoms of melancholy. The objective of my work is to analyze and interpret the text from a medical perspective to demonstrate how Cervantes’ descriptions mirror the medical symptoms and philosophical thoughts of the time.The following chapters examine the writer’s creativity, style, and skeptical thinking that structures the arguments of love and amatory links of the characters from a diversity of thought, which illustrate the models of melancholia —delirium, mania, furor, and madness. The author created innovative patterns of melancholy, as well as questioned the limitation of knowledge about the etiology of melancholy. Cervantes intuited that the teachings of morality and Catholic ethics were fundamental for the construction of the self and the stability of the mind, body, and spirit. I propose that the psychosomatic stories of love reflect the numerous variations of the melancholy that together might form a manual of literary models of sickly love. My analysis and interpretation conclude that the images of some characters are created from the scientific-medical and philosophical descriptions of the time.
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