The horse in literature
The horse is said to be the most beautiful and harmonious living being on creation. It has been present in several spaces such as mythology, literature and art. Symbolically, the horse suggests life. The horse is passion and sensuality. But it also means destruction in the Apocalypse and is literarily related to death.
The Horse in Federico García Lorca’s work
García Lorca was born on June 5, 1898 in Spain. He died in the same country, on August 18, 1936, with only 38 years.
The almost persistent presence of the horse in the poetry and poetic theater of García Lorca is understandable. If you remember that he was born practically in the field. His father, Federico García Rodríguez, was a well-to-do peasant. His father reached a solid economic position with work and land tenure.
Garcia Lorca had the pleasure of walking slowly on horseback through the fertile plain of Granada. In turn, he was never a good equitator, because a childhood illness prevented him from almost every physical effort. However, he adored the horses and also feared them, as the gypsies fear the dark beauty of the black horses of the Spanish Civil Guard.
The death is symbolized in the poetic and theatrical work of García Lorca by the black horses of the Civil Guard. The black horse that carries its dead rider for an unknown destination, the black jack that will never reach Córdoba. Spiritual, the mystical, the miracle, the childish night of the glare find their symbol in the white and luminous horse of the apostle James, who is a star of intense brightness.
In conclusion, for this author the horse and its rider are part of his style. This is why they are very present in all his work. Always carrying death values, although they also represent life and male eroticism.
The horse in the play Don Quixote de la Mancha
Don Quixote de la Mancha is a novel written by the Spaniard Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra. It is the most outstanding work of the Spanish literature and one of the main ones of the universal literature. Rocinante is the name of Don Quixote’s horse.
The author of the novel, decided that his main character had to go on a unique and special steed. Corcel is a term that means agile and fast horse, of great height, that is used in battles and competitions. Rocinante was not a horse with an easy life. I did not have all the food I needed once I became an adult. Being a colt, he did not lack anything and, therefore, his health was excellent. Then little by little he began to lose weight.
Horses and riders in medieval Persian literature: the «Šāh-nāmeh»
The figure of the wonderful mount is inseparable in Persia from its rider. Many times these animals stood out in such a way that they have their own name or, in some cases, their own adventures. Horses are constantly present in medieval Persian literature. Being synonymous with power and wealth of those who own them. The Šāh-nāmeh of Ferdowsī is certainly no exception.
Within the Book of Kings we find great four-legged characters, without whom the riders would be totally lost on more than one occasion. While it is true that the descriptions are not entirely exhaustive, through the poetry of Ferdowsi we find resources to imagine perfectly these magnificent animals.
Horses have a very relevant position in the literature. This is a reflection of its importance in the history of mankind. Let’s learn from the horses the lessons they are kind enough to teach us.
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