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Analysis Of Gracia Lorca´S Lament For Ignacio Sanchex Mejias

1734 words - 7 pages

In Spain people idealized those who deliberately placed themselves in the greatest danger. The core of this idea is centered on the Spanish sport of bullfighting. In such an act, the bullfighter, or matador, baits the bull in a bullring and then kills the bull for the audience. One matador in particular was enormously popular. His name was Ignacio Sanchez Mejias. Not only was he praised for his bullfighting skills, but was gifted intellectually. He was a critic, poet, actor, and sportsman. He eventually retired bullfighting, but in 1934 made the fatal mistake of getting back into the ring one last time. In this last event, he was gored by the bull, and eventually died of gangrene from his injures. A dear friend and poet of the matador, Garcia Lorca, memorialized him by writing an elegy titled, “Lament for Ignacio Sanchez Mejias”. It was written to commemorate and celebrate the death of a man who many considered the bravest and most gallant matador of Spain. It’s a long elegy divided into four parts corresponding to four dramatic movements. These movements are geared by an emotional pattern, descending into grief and despair as the full awareness of loss was felt, and then gradually working through the grief to a point where the poem begins to rise again, finding some kind of reconciliation and comfort. Through this emotional journey Garcia Lorca immortalizes the memory of a departed friend.
In part one, “Cogida and Death”, Lorca creates the turmoil and Ignacio’s accident and the agony of death that eventually surrounded it. It immediately opens up at the very hour of the tragedy, “five in the afternoon” (1), and proceeds to dwell on the horrific details of the bullring. Lorca recreates the scene with, “A boy brought the white sheet…a frail of lime ready prepared” (3-5). The white sheet was being used to wrap the body, and the lime to disinfect the body. We can see and smell the chemicals of death as Lorca illustrates saying, “The wind carried away the cottonwool… and the oxide scattered crystal and nickel” (9-11). He goes on to describe the people, “Groups of silence in the corners” (21), shown as struck with silence over the accident. They didn’t know how to react to such a horrific tragedy, to one of there beloved heroes. At one point Lorca focus on the wound using a brilliant metaphor, “Death laid eggs in the wound” (29). This symbolizes the gangrene that would eventually spread and cause his death. “In the distance the gangrene now comes…The wounds were burning like suns” (41-45), the impact of the disease flourishes, the eggs of death now hatched, and those wounds have struck him with unbearable pain.
Lorca’s words give weight to this accident. He wants you to feel and share the pain that both he and Ignacio were feeling: both the agony of death and the tremendous pain of death approaching. With the repetition of “five in the afternoon” (1), he paints the scene almost happening in slow motion, constantly reminding us of that time after...

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