The Courtesy Love Of The 18th Century

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The courtesy love of the 18th century


In love and other demons, the author tells the story of Servant María, daughter of the Marqués de Casalduero and a mestizo, during the viceroyalty in the 18th century. At twelve, the girl is bitten by a rabid dog. Although he has no symptoms of rage, when, months later, he has a sudden increase in fever, his father is sure that it is because of the bite and will try different treatments. 

Suffering from all those attempts, it seems insane and the bishop declared her possessed by a demon. It is sent to the Santa Clara convent to be exorcised thanks to Father Cayetano Deura. However, Deura is not assured that Servant Maria be possessed and, trying to prove it, he will have to face the feelings born that he has for her.


When Servant Maria is born, her mother has any interest in her progenure. Therefore, Dominga de Advent, a slave who ruled the house of the Marquis, is going to take care of her upbringing. In fact, Servant grows with slaves, learning their languages and customs. He lives in an intermediate world, between the daughter of the Marquis and the queen of slaves. 

This intermediate will be seen as one more proof of its demonization. This reference to an "intermediate" and a "demon" can be remissions to El Banquete de Plato. In this text, six men gather to a banquet and decide that each of them will give a reflection on Eros and love. By Fedro, love can allow a person to overcome because he does not want to seem dishonorous in front of his lover. 

In the opinion of Pausanias, there are two Eros: one celestial between men and the other vulgar centered on the body. Erixímaco also thinks that there are two eros, but of a more scientific point of view. Aristophanes has a completely different version, for him, humans were divided into two and then they keep looking for their other half. 

Agatón praises eros itself, insisting on its virtues. In the part of Socrates, he says he has spoken with a woman from Mantinea, Diotima, and exposes her point of view. According to her, Eros is "a great demon" that is in an intermediate, "between divinity and mortal". This description of Eros is reflected in the character of Servant María.

The similarity between the history of Eros as exhibited by Socrates and this book does not stop the character of the protagonist. In fact, Diotima explains that Eros’s parents are pores, a figure of abundance, and penia, poverty. It is said that Penia was begging when she saw poros, intoxicated, sleeping in the garden of Zeus. He learned that this was a possibility to get out of poverty and lay down by his side to conceive Eros.

 In the same way, in love and other demons, Servant’s father, the Marquis, had no intention of having a son with Bernarda, but for her it was her chance to upload socially. Indeed, she seduced him when the Marquis was resting in a hammock and, one day, he took the initiative to sleep with him, knowing that he could achieve his goal if he became pregnant. Servant Maria was born, but the mother never took care of her daughter and she had any title.

In Erixímaco’s reflection on the banquet, a doctor who founds his point of view on science, states that there are two eros: a beautiful eros, ordered with harmony, and another vulgar, chaotic. This opposition and notion of harmony are present in the novel. Indeed, so much Dominga that Servant Maria live in two opposite cultures. The first is a slave, but it is the person who runs the house, the second is the daughter of the Marquis, but was raised by slaves. 

The difference between the two is that Dominga has integrated these two cultures in their life with harmony while Servant does not know how to live together these two parts of his life, transforming it into chaos. When he is with slaves, he is treated as a queen or a divine figure, but by Christians it seems to a demon, speaking an unknown language for them and acting like a rabid beast. This reinforces Erixímaco’s argument who says that harmony leads to a healthy body and, on the contrary, chaos to a sick body.

Regarding the loving discourse, the main couple in the work of Gabriel García Márquez is that of Servant and Delaura. This relationship can be compared to polite love for certain reasons. The first is that, when the priest learned of his feelings for the girl, he does everything possible to be with her. For example, when Delaura is punished and cannot take care of her, every night he is hidden in the convent to see her, without worrying about the consequences. 

The second reason, its determination against the distance of Servant. At first, the detainee does not want to see the father, but when Deura confesses his feelings, she accepts her love. The last is a forbidden love, but not in the same way. In classic courts, it is a love of a gentleman who is completely dedicated to a high -class lady, generally married, then he is an adulterer. In love and other demons, the relationship is between a thirty -six -year -old priest and a twelve girl. This not only means that it is pedophilia, although there is no sexual relations, but also that a religious is in love with a person "possessed".


In conclusion, a relationship between the work of Gabriel García Márquez and Plato’s exists through the character of Servant Maria and the presentation of Eros by Socrates, through the similarity between the parents of the girl and those of the God and,Lately, through the opposition between the protagonist and Dominga. Regarding love speech, the relationship between Servant and Delaura is based on courteous love, a forbidden love. At the end of the novel, the reader still does not know if the girl was really possessed and does not give the opportunity to demonstrate the opposite, the book ending the suffering of servant during exorcism.  

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