Portland State University. Department of World Languages and Literatures.
Date of Publication
Master of Arts (M.A.) in Spanish
Gonzalo de Berceo active 13th century. Milagros de Nuestra Señora, Blessed Virgin Saint Mary -- In literature
1 online resource (61 p.)
The cult of the Virgin Mary reached its climactic point in Europe during the Middle Ages, and was particularly strong in Spain. Literature became a concrete expression of Marianism because it reflected the beliefs of the populace. Gonzalo de Berceo, a Castilian monk, greatly influenced by the ever-growing Marian piety, wrote a collection of poems in which the activity of the Blessed Mother in everyday human life is documented. I propose to do a detailed miracle-by-miracle analysis of Mary's interactions with others by focusing on Berceo's characterization of her in her principal role as a mother. In addition, I will analyze the characters to whom Mary renders assistance since they are representative of Berceo's audience and are people to whom the common people were able to relate. Finally, I will consider the visions of Mary that occur during the miracles, particularly whether or not she appears, to whom she appears, and why. Through this study of the Milagros, it will become apparent that while Berceo incorporates elements of the predominating theology into his miracles, the stories are primarily a reflection of the popular belief. Berceo demonstrates the influence of theology by depicting in his miracles all of the maternal qualities Mary embodied that appealed to people looking for a motherly figure to turn to in time of need. In addition, the role of Mary as an all-powerful intercessor who decides on her own who receives miracles, and who does not, reflects the common faith of the people living in the Middle Ages.
Deeter, Elizabeth M., "An Analysis of the Literary Manifestations of the Cult of the Virgin Mary in Gonzalo de Berceo's Milagros de Nuestra Senora" (1996). Dissertations and Theses. Paper 5249.