Colin Thompson: Sex, power and politics: Fray Luis de León's Profecía del Tajo
Friday 29th April – CASiLaC Room – O'Rahilly Building 1.24
Fray Luis de León's version of the Moorish invasion of 711 and the subsequent fall of Christian Spain is unusual among his original poems in giving a classical and Renaissance twist to a tale based in popular legend and the romancero viejo. It is, however, more than a simple retelling of the story according to the stylistic tastes of the age. Beneath the surface it engages with questions which were of great relevance in his own time: the responsibilities of kingship, the continuing morisco presence in the peninsula, and the political and military conflict between imperial Spain and the Ottoman empire. In this paper I will offer a close reading of the poem which covers both its artistic construction and its wider significance.