The 15th century is an epoch of cultural transition in Spain. Before that period, people’s life always focused on the Christian teachings. The living form of people in the Middle Ages is actually the reflection of the traditional religion. However, according to the influences from the interior changes and foreign cultures, this kind of living form was totally changed, moving from the former Asceticism of the Middle Ages to the latter Humanism of the Renaissance. The 15th century was a connecting period under this development. The specialty of this cultural transition was clearly showed up in the themes of poetic works. By doing research on the evolution of these literary themes, readers could comprehend clearer about the changes of the social value. Las coplas por la muerte de su padre is a literary work with lots of moral teachings. In this work, Jorge Manrique showed respects to his father’s greatness and was proud of the good deeds done by his father, which serves as starting point on the topic of life and death.
This elegiac work was completed in the 15th century and the display of literary themes among this work is amazingly abundant. Nevertheless, based on limited studies, some scholars held different point of view toward the central idea of this elegy. Hence, this thesis centers on the evolution on literary themes from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance and introduces the biographies of Jorge Manrique and his father, Rodriogo Manrique, in order to understand their historical positions and the basic concept of value. Moreover, this thesis analyzed the tradition of classic elegiac works, in order to understand the core value of the early Christianity. In terms of the study above, this thesis tries to make comparisons step by step to prove whether Jorge Manrique’s main idea could be clarified or not.
It was found that this elegy revealed some characteristics of the Renaissance. For instance, Jorge Manrique used the method of nationalization and popularization and also, he placed the importance on the life of fame. After doing further research, this thesis ascertained that although Jorge Manrique emphasized that his father’s fame would endure for a long time, but it wouldn’t last for good because eventually, the life of fame would disappear in the history, just like other secular values. Jorge Manrique deified his father and regarded him as the perfect model of life but in the end, he admitted that we human’s value would never transcend God’s will ultimately so if we would like to gain the eternal life after we die, we should follow God’s will and teachings to live. In the other word, this idea of the poet shows its links with the Middle Ages, not the Renaissance.