‘las partes donde Amor el cetro tiene’: uncanonical love in Francisco de Aldana's ‘Medoro y Angélica’

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Francisco de Aldana has been called a ‘forgotten poet’ of Spain's Golden Age perhaps owing to poems, such as ‘Medoro y Angélica’, which continue to challenge attempts at definition and categorization. These difficulties could be attributed to the tension between the poem's inherent sensuality juxtaposed against the legacies of Petrarch and Neoplatonism that are also clearly present. This article examines Aldana's focus on Angélica: his reshaping of common descriptive tropes to produce a hybrid text that seemingly acts as a means to pass off material perhaps considered too risqué by the reader, while it introduces the idea of a successful and loving physical relationship between the lovers. This is made possible by the use of techniques that engender distance between the reader and any perceived erotic content, such as linguistic play and theatricality. The result is the presentation of a hybridized uncanonical vision of love by Aldana that sits in opposition to the ideals of contemporary love lyric.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)507-525
Number of pages19
JournalBulletin of Spanish Studies
Issue number4
Early online date10 Sept 2014
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Francisco de Aldana
  • Uncanonical
  • Neoplatonism
  • Love
  • Petrarch
  • Sensuality
  • ‘Medoro y Angélica’


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