Fernando de Rojas

Rachael Komisar

Biographical Information

  • Fernando de Rojas was born in 1475, in Toledo, Spain
  • He spent most of his life in Talavera de la Reina
  • Rojas was a law student in Salamanca, and became mayor in Talavera de la Reina
  • Rojas was a new Christian so he served as a lawer for his Converso father-in-law. He lived out his 66 years in Spain
  • He wrote plays. One of his most famous was "La Celestina" and "tragicomedia de Catisto y Melibea."
  • His patrons are unknown

La Celestina

Act 1

Scene 1

CALISTO.—In this, Melibea, I see God’s greatness.

MELIBEA.—In what, Calisto?

CALISTO.—In giving Nature the power to endow you with such perfect beauty. And in

affording me so great a favour as your fair presence; and in a place so convenient to

unsheath my secret grief. Such a favour is undoubtedly greater by many degrees than any

service, sacrifice or good works that I have offered God. What saint up in heaven ever saw

a more glorious creature than I behold here below? Although we do differ in this: that they

rejoice without fear of losing such blessedness and I must dread the torment which your

absence will inflict upon me.

MELIBEA.—Hold you this, Calisto, so great a reward?

CALISTO.—So great, in truth, that if God should give me a place in heaven above his saints, I

should not hold it so great a happiness.

MELIBEA.—Then I shall give you a similar reward, if you persevere.

CALISTO.—Blessed are my ears which can hear so gracious a word.

MELIBEA.—But unfortunate by the time you have heard your doom, for your payment shall be

as foul as your presumption was foolish! How dare you hazard yourself on the virtue of

woman like me? Go, wretch, begone out of my sight, for my patience cannot endure that

you have dared to communicate your illicit love to me!

La Celestina Backround

  • The name of this piece is La Celestina
  • It was created in 1499
  • La Celestina was published in books around the world for scholars
  • What i found interesting was his interesting use of "magic." He used it to make Celestina "suffer from a raw powerful love for Calisto." It was also interesting to see his interpretation of love
  • Rojas wrote La Celestina having been influenced by academic debates concerning certain contentions of philosophy, also being a lawer his writing involved regarding life as conflict or contest
  • His writing is linked to humanism. The piece is a story about two lovers who try everything in their power to be together, also they are trying to solve their conflict based on reason, not religion