The selections from Espronceda included in this volume have been edited for the benefit of advanced Spanish classes in schools and universities. The study of Espronceda, Spain's greatest Romantic poet, offers the best possible approach to the whole subject of Romanticism. He is Spain's "representative man" in that movement. Furthermore, the wealth of meters he uses is such that no other poet provides so good a text for an introduction to the study of Spanish versification.

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To understand his poetic work, his biography must be seen as a fusion of these three factors that are constantly reflected in his literary work.

He is an amoral, arrogant, womanizing man; avid lover of the female body and the pleasures it brings him, but not of relationships, much less of establishing himself with a single woman. The author fills the work with verses that are atypical for the time, mixing genres and creating a protagonist who is cynical and subversive, but certainly charming, so it is not surprising that when it was published it was seen as innovative, because of the transgression of several conventions typical of those times.

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‘El Estudiante de Salamanca’, by José de Espronceda

A narrative poem set in the Spanish city of Salamanca around the beginning of the seventeenth century; published in Spanish in as El Estudiante de Salamanca , in English in At age 15 he joined several friends in plotting against the Spanish government. The rebellious act marked the beginning of a continuing defiance; Espronceda would engage in political agitation right up to his premature death from tuberculosis at age His intrigues resulted in years of exile, and critics have traced his Romantic literary style to influences encountered in London and Paris in the s and s. Returning to Spain in the mids, Espronceda was celebrated as the leading Spanish poet of his generation. His poetry was collected and published in as Poesias Poems. Meanwhile, painters such as Diego Velazquez — and writers like Miguel de Cervantes — rendered brilliant artistic portrayals of the glories achieved by Spain and the foibles of its society.

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El estudiante de Salamanca

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