How is El Cid a neo-classical play?

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Jamie Wheeler | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

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Neoclassicism is an "embodied a group of attitudes toward art and human existence--ideals of order, logic, restraint, accuracy, "correctness," "restraint," decorum, and so on, which would enable the practitioners of various arts to imitate or reproduce the structures and themes of Greek or Roman originals."

El Cid seeks to elevate the ideals of neo-classicism by presenting the deterioration of nobility, thus allowing identification of the problem and restoring the above criteria.  "For example, the Infantes de Carrión are characterized as members of the upper nobility, they have vast land-holdings and enjoy high status in King Alfonso's court. They marry the Cid's daughters for their money, but later describe these marriages as "concubinage," implying that this match is null and void because of the vast difference in class between the Infantes and the Cid."

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