Humor and the Humors

  • Louise M. Haywood
Part of the The New Middle Ages book series (TNMA)


One of the fundamental challenges that modern readers experience in handling the Libro lies in our desire to resolve the problem caused by the nature of the role that Juan Ruiz carves for his first-person narrator, the amorous Archpriest. I shall argue that this problem is posed in the opening portions of the Libro, in which Ruiz blurs the roles of author and narrator with those of preacher and poet. In contrast to the mester de clerecía poets who actively claim a position within religious orthodoxy for their minstrelsy, discussed in the introduction, I shall argue that Ruiz displays the double nature of the priest, and every human. This is supported by his treatment of Everyman’s fallen body in the prologue, of the Archpriest and his appetitive nature in the physical description, and in his deeds in the later narrative portions of the Libro. In the opening too Ruiz makes clear the difficulties encountered in the interpretation of intention, and I shall have more to say on this issue, and its relevance to the Libro.


Fall Nature Greek Learning Divine Grace Monastic Community Religious Orthodoxy 
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© Louise M. Haywood 2008

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  • Louise M. Haywood

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