The representation of God in three thirteenth-century Spanish narrative poems
Spinks, Scott Franklin
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Mentions of God were omnipresent in the early vernacular texts of thirteenth-century Spain. In this dissertation, I study the mentions of God in three well-known Spanish narrative poems written down in the thirteenth century. These are the Cantar de mio Cid, the Libro de Alexandre, and the Milagros de Nuestra Señora. In particular, I discuss how the representation of God in these works is shaped by each of the three poets' original intended audiences and the message that he wished to communicate to those listeners. I begin by reviewing critical reconstructions of the original intended audiences of the three poems. I then study three aspects of the representation of God in each of the three poems: the words used to reference God, the descriptions of the deity present in the texts themselves, and the roles and functions assigned to God as a character in each narrative. I conclude that the Judeo-Christian God was an expected element in early Spanish narrative poetry, but that his representation could vary widely based on the differing compositions of the audiences for whom the works were conceived.