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UBC Theses and Dissertations

El sacrificio de la misa de Gonzalo de Berceo : estudio socio-cultural del poema con un análisis particular de su estructura tipológica Escuer-Riera, Iris


The following study is divided into two parts. The first is a socio-cultural analysis of a poem by Gonzalo de Berceo (late 12th-early 13th century) entitled Sacrificio de la Misa. The second is a study of the typological structure of Berceo's poem. Critics have generally advanced the idea that Berceo was a poet with little academic formation, and that he composed his poetry for the delight of a lay audience. This study of the Sacrificio de la Misa suggests that the opposite is true; that is, that Berceo could well have received academic training, even though it may not have been what was available to monks who, at that time, received the highest level of education. The Sacrificio de la Misa also shows that the audience to whom it was aimed was not an unlettered one; rather, it was directed to students, specifically those who were preparing for the priesthood in the monastery of San Millan. We reach these conclusions after a study of the academic world of Berceo's time. We also examine the likelihood that Berceo attended a studium generate, specifically the University of Palencia. The thesis also questions the purpose of the poem, and the reason why Berceo composes a doctrinal work in which he describes in detail the canon of the Mass according to the Roman Rite. We conclude that the Sacrificio de la Misa was composed in order to establish this rite in a territory where previously the Mozarabic Rite had predominated. The poet takes the opportunity of teaching the structure of the Roman Rite to the students to whom he addresses the poem. The second part of the thesis consists of an analysis of the typological structure of the poem, a subject about which little has been written. Berceo adds nothing new to the use of typology in a Christian context, since he has acquired this method from the Bible itself, from which St. Paul already took events in the Old Testament as prophetic prefigurations of the New. Berceo's novelty lies in his adaptation of this literary technique to Castilian poetry.

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