||Palatucci O'Donnell, Kathleen
||"Sentencias" and "Refranes" in "La Celestina": A Compilation, Analysis, and Examination of Their Function
||Refranes; Sentencias; Autoridad
||Many readers recognize the existence of a substantial quantity of proverbial expressions in La Celestina, but so far, a comprehensive listing of all the sayings, along with important information such as which character uttered the saying, who was listening, whether it is first found in the initial comedia, or in the later, expanded tragicomedia has not been available. Without such information, it is difficult to conduct a thorough exploration of how the sayings function in the work.
This study lists a total of 543 sentencias and refranes, along with the information described above. In addition, the sayings are organized by the character that said them, and a cross-reference to other lists is provided.
An examination of the definitions of the words sentencia and refran, and related vocabulary, is attempted, as Rojas implies that they belong to different categories, and in order to be certain that only sentencias and refranes are included.
Whereas a list of all the sentencias and refranes in La Celestina may provide much information, we analyze them so as to be able to understand how they are distributed in the work, by act, by speaker, by theme, and so forth. As we examine the role of the paremiological speech, it becomes evident that the sayings have a functional, rather than merely decorative or didactic, role in the events of the dramatic story. In fact, this material is used in many ways--to illuminate character, to help construct the plot, to create irony, and to provide a background of sober, didactic wisdom with which to contrast the folly of the characters.
Finally, we consider the tradition of auctoritas, and its role in a work dominated by a figure like Celestina. Whereas one might doubt Rojas' purpose in including and extolling didactic material such as sentencias when the characters who refer to their wisdom are condemned to death and damnation, we find that the true problem is a rejection of the God-centered moral order, resulting in a chaotic, non-transcendental world in which wise sayings are not reliable. For readers who do not live in this perverse moral structure, however, the guidance of the sentencias is invaluable, and they should be remembered.