Abstract

In her adaptation of the Narcissus myth for her auto sacramental El Divino Narciso, Sor Juana made a crucial change by which the figure of Narciso, the allegorical representation of Christ, may see his perfect beauty reflected in another and therefore be united in love with another, the character of Naturaleza Humana. A number of attempts have been made to explain this development based on hermetic and psychological analysis, as well as the possible influence of Classical sources other than Ovid. However, Sor Juana makes clear that her allegory deals with the presentation of theological truths. Within the Christian theological tradition there is a figure who specifically talks of humanity's need to restore the lost divine likeness, disfigured by sin, so that God may recognize His own beauty in humanity and they may be reconciled. This figure is Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, about whom Sor Juana writes in her Letras de San Bernardo, a series of poems written in 1690. This essay examines El Divino Narciso in light of Saint Bernard, and compares the theology of Sor Juana's auto with the imagery and doctrines in her Letras. (JE)

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Additional Information

ISSN
1944-0928
Print ISSN
0007-5108
Pages
pp. 167-184
Launched on MUSE
2014-01-08
Open Access
No
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