Literature / La Celestina
or ''The tragicomedy of Calisto and Melibea and the old prostitute Celestina''
is a Spanish book written in 1499 by the converse jewish writer Fernando de Rojas.
The plot starts with Calisto being rejected by Melibea. Calisto then turns into an Emo Teen
, until his servant, Sempronio, presents him to The Matchmaker
Celestina, who offers him Melibea's love. She uses her knowledge of human behaviour
and sorcery to acomplish her goal. Soon after getting her payment from Calisto, Celestina is murdered by Calisto's servants, Sempronio and Parmeno, who wanted their part of the payment but didn't get it. Sempronio and Parmeno are caught by the local justice and executed on the spot.
Once together, Calisto and Melibea enjoy their love secretly without knowing that there's a plot against them by two prostitutes, Elicia and Areusa, who blame them for the death of Sempronio and Parmeno. Two thugs, Centurio and Traso, are hired by Elicia and Areusa to murder Calisto during one of his nocturne dates with Melibea, but what actually causes Calisto's death is slipping off a ladder and falling head first to the ground when he hurries to help his servants. After discovering his death, Melibea commits suicide. The work ends with Melibea's father, Pleberio, crying for the death of his daughter.
The book is considered one of the best novels ever written in the Spanish language, and it's a staple in any Spanish literature class. It was also a big hit, specially the character of Celestina, who is considered one of the best characters ever created in Spanish literature, and her name is nowadays an official synonymous of "matchmaker" in the Spanish language. As in, her name literally appears in the dictionary.
This book contains examples of:
- All Women Are Prudes: Deconstructed trope. Melibea refuses at first to have sex with Calisto, but she's actually dying for it.
- Ambiguously Jewish: It's often discussed that the huge difference Calisto mentions between him and Melibea might be that he's Jewish while Melibea is Catholic.
- Chivalrous Pervert: Calisto.
- Cool Old Lady: Celestina.
- Daddy's Girl: Melibea.
- Death by Materialism: Celestina is murdered by Sempronio and Parmeno after refusing to share his part of Calisto's reward with them. Just after that the two servants are killed by justice.
- Death of a Thousand Cuts: Celestina's ultimate end.
- Deconstruction: Of Courtly Love. Calisto breaks with the traditional role of the lover hiring Celestina.
- Dirty Coward: Parmeno and Sempronio abandon Calisto when they hear a noise.
- Dirty Old Woman: Celestina.
- Driven to Suicide: After hearing that Calistro died from falling off the wall, Melibea decides to jump from the tower to join him in death.
- Downer Ending: Just about everyone dies and Melibea's father is left to look over the disaster.
- Females Are More Innocent: Played straigh with Melibea. Inverted with Celestina and the prostitutes, Elicia y Areusa.
- Good Bad Girl
- Green Eyes: Melibea has them, and they're considered very sexy.
- Ironic Name: Celestina means 'heavenlike'. She makes pacts with the Devil.
- It's Personal: Calisto indirectly causes the death of the prostitutes' lovers, which causes them to seek revenge.
- Kill 'em All: No one among the main characters survives.
- Lineage Comes from the Father: This is the case for Melibea's father, but, after all, it is the Middle Age.
- Manipulative Bitch: Celestina tricks every one to do what she wants them to do, making Melibea fall in love with Calisto, fooling Parmeno to help her and getting money from Calisto.
- The Matchmaker: Celestina is the Trope Codifier for this trope in the Middle Age, and also the Trope Namer in Spanish.
- My Girl Is Not a Slut
- Never a Self-Made Woman: Celestina averts this trope, since she reached the spot she now occupies in life using her skills.
- Purple Prose: A XVth century illiterate prostitute speaking like a poet?
- Revenge: The motivation to the story's climax.
- Revenge Before Reason.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
- Secondary Character Title: Celestina is not the main character, but she's the Chessmaster who causes the start of everything.
- Those Two Guys: Pármeno and Sempronio.