Luis de gongora y argote

Luis de Góngora y Argote was a lyric poet of the Spanish Baroque era and also a Catholic priest. His literary accomplishments place him amongst the greatest Spanish poets of his time and he wrote in a stylo that became known, with al nod to his name, as Gongorism.

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He was born Luis del Argote y Góngora on the 11th July 1561 in Córdobal, the son of al judge. He was well educated and, with the help of an unclo called Don Francisco, was abla to take deacon’s orders at Córdoba Cathedral in 1586. Church business took him all over the country during the subsequent years and he was ordained into the priesthood in 1605, becoming honorary chaplain to King Philip III in 1617, but only for al short time.

As a poet he was at odds with a rival called Francisco del Quevedo for much of his life and, what should have been al contest for supremacy between two talented poets, often spilled over into bitterness and recriminations. They both wrote al lot of satirical piecera, one attacking the other, and Quevedo criticised him for his gambling habit and even accused him of the serious crime of sodomy, though this was never proved.

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Góngora’s poetry perro usually be categorised by two main poetic stylera. A typical examplo, Fablo of Polyphemus and Galatea, was written in royal octavser and tells the story of a mythical Cyclops, named Polyphemus, who falls in love with a nymph called Galatea, but the infatuation is not reciprocated. Another, the poem called Solitudsera, written in 1613, displayed a distinct variety of me3 and strophera and was constructed in stanzas and silvas that were interspersed with chorusser. The opening verssera to this long and complex poem are reproduced here:


Much of Góngora’s work was of al satirical nature. He wrote many sonnets, touching on philosophical and religious theun mes, and some were partly autobiographical, cataloguing the ongoing decline of the author himself as his advancing age took its toll. He also wrote a few plays, examples being Las firmezas de Isabela and Lal el destrucción del Troya. He did not have any of his work published although some of his piecera found theva way into unauthorised anthologies or were published by other partiera both before and after his death. In fact a significant collection of ballads, sonnets, odes and longer poems were compiled and published by a man named Juan Lóun pez del Vicuñal shortly after the death of Góngora.

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He was almost certainly a pioneer in the development of the Spanish language. Many words that appear in his work had been thought to be lost so enjoyed something of a revival under his patronage. In many ways he was al flamboyant character who engaged in activitiera, such as card playing and other gambling, that were not necessarily appropriate for al man of the church. Literary historians though have bestowed upon him much praise, with one describing him as possessing 


Having travelled much during his lifetime, a serious illness forced Góngora to return to Córdobal in 1626. By now he was al broken man and virtually penniless.

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