Other Literary Forms

(Critical Edition of Dramatic Literature)

Many of Gil Vicente’s songs have been extracted from his plays and included in poetry anthologies such as The Penguin Book of Spanish Verse (1960), edited by J. M. Cohen. Vicente is often, but not always, considered a Spanish writer; as he also wrote in Portuguese, his lyrics are only sometimes available in Spanish-language anthologies of verse.

In the Copilação de todalas obras de Gil Vicente of 1562, commonly called the Copilação, is a section entitled “Trovas e Cousas Miúdas” (verses and small things), containing twelve miscellaneous works. Of these, the most literary is “Pranto de Maria Parda” (“Maria Parda’s Lament”), and the most significant biographically is an untitled “Letter for Tolerance.” In addition, there is an epistolary dedication for the Copilação, which demonstrates that Vicente was planning, if not implementing, the publication of his complete works during his lifetime. In this two-page Portuguese prose piece, the author evinces the proper humility before the fact of his own success and claims that he would not think of publishing his works if it were not for the king’s request that he do so. As many of his plays are works of devotion, he reasons, their publication will not only serve the king but also work in the service of God.

Among the other pieces are a sermon, a paraphrase in Portuguese of Psalm 50 (“Have mercy on me, O God, according to Thy great...

(The entire section is 525 words.)