Book of Good Love: Theme, interpretation, style, and more

El Good Love Book, is a history of mester de clergy, made for the fourteenth century. It was written by Juan Ruiz. It is considered one of the most important works of the time of medieval literature typical of Spain.


Good Love Book

The Book of Good Love, which was also called the Book of the Archpriest and even the Book of the Singers, is considered a history of the mester de clergy, typical of the 1700th century. It is made up of approximately XNUMX stanzas that have totally varied elements.

[su_note] It is important to mention that the narrative development leads us to a story structured in a fictitious autobiography, written by Juan Ruiz, who is Archpriest of Hita in the story. Libro de Buen Amor, is considered one of the masterpieces that are part of Spanish literature. Highlighting mainly those made for the period of the Middle Ages.[/su_note]

It should be borne in mind that the Libro de Buen Amor has a group of heterogeneous elements of totally diverse themes that come together through the development of an autobiographical narrative. Where situations based on the loving aspects experienced by the author of the story are expressed.

[su_note]It is important to mention that the author of Libro de Buen Amor, can be visualized in a part of the book through the character of Don Melón de la Huerta. So you can visualize the representation of all the lovers who were part of his life and in turn developed in the high social category in low medieval Spanish. [/ Su_note]

overriding argument

It is important to mention that in the development of the history of the Book of Good Love, the management of the fable and apologists can be visualized, which allows this to be a totally exemplary collection in literature.

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In the same way allegories are handled, such as moralities, sermons and even goliardesque. Elements typical of lyrical compositions that are considered secular can also be displayed. Which in turn visualizes serranillas, parodic, which in turn is related to other religions, which are reflected in hymns and joys of the Virgin and Jesus.

narrative materials

The narrative materials are directly related to parodic aspects, typical of comedies considered elegiac, which are part of medieval times. Reflecting in itself the adventures that the author narrates in relation to love, which are in turn expressed through poems that are directly visualized with the links of his love.

On the other hand, Pamphilus was described in the Book of Good Love, specifically visualized in Don Melón and also Doña Endrina. In the same way, he is related to a parody of the liturgy of the canonical hours, as well as that of the chansons de geste. In addition, elements such as Don Carnal with Doña Cuaresma are handled.

Likewise, other books can be seen within this story, such as the plants. That can be seen in the event of the death of Trotaconventos. This character was important, because he played the role of representing La Celestina, in the same way to the satires. Which in turn is reflected completely to the female owners, as well as to the money. Elements are also handled within the medieval fables called Aesopic.

All this in search of highlighting the elements of education related to love. Looking for human learning to develop this special feeling.

Therefore, the Libro de Buen Amor seeks to demonstrate the importance of medieval Latin literature. Especially this one, which is classified as clerical literature.

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The Book of Good Love narrates how Archpriest sought to seduce women, with the aim of finding true love. This character is aided by Trotaconventos, however, all of his attempts end in failure.

[su_note]It is important to mention that his prologue, unlike many works, is written in prose. Where the intentions of the Archpriest of Hita are declared, written specifically from prison, which in turn refers to what life on earth symbolizes.[/su_note]

The story focuses on good love, which means that it is necessary throughout life to learn to differentiate between what is good and what is bad. Similarly, attitudes such as debauchery and vice are reflected. On the other hand, it reflects the respect and virtue of women.

It should be mentioned that the main character's first experiences with women ended in failure. It is in this way that we are reflected on the dangers of living a love full of madness and debauchery. Highlighting in turn the advantages that a good love brings.

Juan Ruiz, the author, offers himself as the protagonist and in turn the narrator. It is considered by many experts that the Book of Good Love is an adaptation of the Pamphilus story of the XNUMXth century.

In the story, bad luck pursues the main character, when he manages to seduce them, the woman always tends to die. On the other hand, the work is full of other adventures that represent fables. It is important to mention that the Archpriest ends with a blackberry, where the lesson of good love is reflected.

Characters of The Book of Good Love

The characters that make up this important medieval story are the following:

The Archpriest of Hita

This character can be considered curiously outstanding, not only because he is the main character of the story, but also because he is the author of this work. He is a cleric, known as Archpriest. That he has the trait of tenacity and at the same time one not as good as being in love.

The character tries throughout history to achieve what is called by many the fullness of love. However, despite his persistence, he does not get anything other than love failures.

Trotaconventos, the pimp

This character is noted as the most original in the history of the Book of Good Love. In addition to this, by many it is considered an antecedent of Celestina. Trotaconventos, she considers herself a pimp, since she imposes herself the duty of helping the Archpriest, in relation to everything that refers to love and his desperation to achieve its fullness.

[su_note] It is important to mention that throughout the development of the work, Don Amor, gives advice to the Archpriest where he indicates that he should take one of those ladies who always hang out in the churches as a messenger and in turn They know about the alleys. Which leads Trotaconventos to become his faithful messenger. [/ Su_note]

Loves of the Archpriest

Throughout the Book of Good Love, the main character, the Archpriest, traces the goal of making many women fall in love. Where the most notable are, a woman who is part of the high social class, with a great fortune and in turn one of those who enjoy good morals.

In the same way, he manages to conquer a frivolous baker, impressively also a noble nun, a young woman with the status of a widow, who was wanted by numerous men and also a mountain cowgirl.

[su_note] It is important to mention that the character of Doña Garoza is a nun with very well-defined purposes in life, which means that she is not easily influenced by anyone. Her willpower declines after the great insistence of the Trotaconventos. [/ Su_note]

allegorical characters

Doña Cuaresma is a character from the Libro de Buen Amor, with a fairly thin frame, in the same way, she has skin problems, she is ladino and in turn weak. In addition to that, she is considered a character with several negative attitudes. Despite this, Doña Cuaresma shows that she is pious. She also highlights some characters like Doña Venus and Don Amor.


It should be noted that the Book of Good Love has three manuscripts. However, Ramón Menéndez Pidal really responded in reference to two actions that were directly based on moments related to his life:

S Manuscript

This originated in Salamanca, specifically in the Colegio Mayor de San Bartolomé. It is after this that he was in the Royal Library of Madrid. Later, until now, it will be in the Library of the University of Salamanca.

Its letter is made for the beginning of the fifteenth century, it is possible to have the complete manuscript. It is important to mention that the added information is not found in the other manuscripts. This important aspect was achieved thanks to Alonso Paradinas.

G Manuscript

Its name is due to the fact that it was under the power of Benito Martínez Gayoso. It is currently part of the Library of the Royal Spanish Academy. It is made for the fifteenth century. Don't stop reading Hispanic American Literature.

T Manuscript

His manuscript is called that way because it was kept in the Cathedral of Toledo. It is currently in the National Library of Spain. It is important to mention that the writings were made for the fourteenth century.

Theme and structure

The Book of Good Love, was titled that way by Menéndez Pidal for the year 1898. It was inspired by all the landscapes that were presented within the story that was narrated in the book. Based mainly on frame number 933b. Which is primarily based on a first hemistich that expresses good love.


On the other hand, in relation to the date on which the writing was carried out, it is based on the manuscript. One of the manuscripts states that the author is finished for the year 1330 as well as another related to 1343.

It is important to mention that by 1330 Juan Ruiz made a revision and in turn corrections, which were based on a new composition of the narrative of this outstanding story of the medieval period. It should be clear that the book is totally based on the following characteristics, which are the following:

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  • The content, which is based on the example, narratives in relation to love, serranillas, as well as the didactic elements and their lyrical compositions.
  • Metrics is directly related to elements such as the framing via which is based on performed stanzas based on sixteen verses, as well as stanzas and zejelescas.
  • Tone, based on series, as well as festive, religious and secular elements.[/su_list]

core materials

The central materials of which this history consists are the following:

The introduction

In this the author explains everything that is based on the interpretive elements of the story. It is important to mention that it presents a prayer under the frame via, addressed entirely to the Heavenly Father and the Virgin Mary.

The prayer seeks to ask for help to get a proem in his prose. Which can be likened to a common sermon based on the divine worship of God.


On the other hand, this element can be considered parodic, in addition to that, it has another sentence that is related to a total divine favor, to have the opportunity to make the book correctly. Presenting himself through lyrical joys addressed to the Virgin Mary. learn about Biography Martin Blasco.

fictional autobiography

The Book of Good Love is structured under a fictitious autobiography of its author. Therefore, it is constituted under a behavior structure based on his actions.

[su_note] Therefore, the book narrates the author's love affairs with a variety of women. In it, diverse women are reflected, with different origins and at the same time social conditions. Among these, the most outstanding were a nun, a Moorish woman, a baker, the owner of a prayer shed, likewise, a woman of high position, as well as several mountain rangers.[/su_note]

Collection of examples

This collection of enxiemplos is based on apologetics, stories and fables. All of these seek to teach morals, each time the episodes of this book end. You may be interested in the article The knight in the rusty armor.

Dispute between the author and Don Amor

There is a dispute between the author and Don Amor, who is a character that is considered allegorical. The author decides to accuse this character of being responsible for all the deadly sins that occur in each of the stories.

On the other hand, elements that are directly related to how a woman should be completely, as well as the specific heartthrob, are considered.



It talks about the love affairs that develop with Don Melón as well as Doña Endrina. It is based entirely on the humanistic comedy effected through elements of the medieval Pamphilus.


The allegorical story of the battle between Doña Cuaresma and Don Carnal is also narrated. Which is developed through a parody directly related to the chansons de geste in medieval times.

Ars Amandi

You can see a comment from Ars Amandi, who is a poet of Latin origin named Ovid.

tone and content

The tone and content are based on satire as well as goliardic. Directly related to the parody of the play Horas canonónicas. Also to the Cantiga de los clerics de Talavera. In which a totally misogynistic praise is reflected in relation to the female owners that are based on satire.

In turn, elements of lyrical compositions of religious rank can be visualized, based mainly on the Marianas, specifically on the Joys of Santa María. Which in turn is surrounded by totally lyrical and secular compositions directly related to the death of Trotaconventos.

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Interpretation of the work

The interpretation of the Book of Good Love, has as its intention, to find out what was the reason that the story was made. Focusing in reality, on the development offered by the great heterogeneity.

Similarly, it is important to mention that the Book of Good Love seeks to highlight devoted love. As well as the elements that reflect the ability totally related to carnal love.

Menéndez Pelayo and other characters

Menéndez Peleyo and other authors sought to frame all the aspects in relation to the goliardic character of the story. It is important to mention that there really is no kind of attack on dogmas and even insurrections in relation to brute force with the Spanish authorities.

All this leads us to understand that these are important elements to correctly carry out Goliardesque poetry. On the other hand, many literary scholars seek to express that Libro de Buen Amor still does.

Similarly, there are other types of authors, such as José Amador de los Ríos and María Rosa Lida de Malkier, who sought to have aspects that are based on didactic attitudes. Américo Castro and Albornoz Sánchez also consider that other authors, as is the case of Juan Ruíz, who is classified as a cynical writer, with habits that squeeze them.


On the other hand, Juan Luis Alborg seeks to reflect a study, similar to the one carried out by what he uses. It is important to mention that this character did this action with Cervantes. All this leads us to understand that Juan Luis Alborg seeks to catapult himself with themes related to chivalry, reflecting his personal vision of ironic art. Which in turn leads him to be described by his great ease with coupling to medieval didactics.

The work

The Book of Good Love stands out for containing systems full of multiculturalism, focused primarily on Toledo, in relation to the development of the time. Therefore, it is reflected that many of the women fell in love with the protagonist and most of them did not have carnal relations with them, unlike when the elements that the mountain girl assaults through La Chata appear. On the other hand, it is important to understand that the mountain rangers celebrated us. Well, the serranas are considered important for the genre of literature.

There is a blackberry who fully expresses her talents as a musician, to the point of bragging to everyone. It is important to mention that he himself performs compositions related to Andalusian and Jewish dance.

On the other hand, at the moment in which the battle of Don Carnal and Doña Cuaresma took place, a long trip to Toledo takes place, because in that place the butchers and in turn rabbis politely say that they expect everything to be provided in a polite manner. .

In addition to this María Rosa Lida de Malkiel, therefore they can be visualized from their beginnings. She expresses narratives related to rhymed prose, as well as the magamat that were made by a variety of authors that originate from the territory of the Arabs such as the Hebrews that developed for the twelfth and fourteenth centuries.


The book

On the other hand, the Libro de Buen Amor contains aspects related to a goliard-type protest, which is itself based on the position with which Gil de Albornoz carried it out. Which allowed to expose in diocese own of the barragana paper doctrine

Which in turn is related to the coexistence that a priest had with a woman. Which is considered an easy custom that is based on the territory with multicultural. Similarly, the heresy of Elipando's adoptionism should be highlighted. Which leads us to understand that all this is brought with the intention of remembering Muslims, Christians and Jews.

It is in this way that it is expressed from women and in turn from the clergy. Where in addition to this, discontent is expressed by the archbishop against barraganía. For this reason, it is necessary to make a protest that allows the archbishop who is capable of keeping her in prison. Which leads us to understand that thanks to Enrique, she manages to completely release her love for Goliardesque literature.

daniel eisenberg

He is one of the authors who has highlighted the importance of good love for people like Juan Ruiz. Therefore, he reflected his love affairs, as is the case with the owner. Who was the woman who was at his disposal, she was also a virgin and wanted to be with him as an excuse.

On the other hand, bad love was directly related to that of the waiters, also called young people.


Authorship and dating

The writer of the Book of Good Love points out ecclesiastical elements that can be seen throughout the development of this story. As is the case of Joan Roiz acipreste de Fita found in frame 19b-c. As well as in Yo Johan Ruiz the above-mentioned acipreste de Hita stipulated in c. 575th.

[su_note]It is important to mention that it was from 1984, thanks to Francisco J. Hernández, that concrete proof can be glimpsed as to whether Juan Ruiz really existed, with uenerabilibus Johanne Roderici, Archpriest of Fite.[/su_note]

In this you can see a completely ecclesiastical title that is directly related to elements of the narrative of the Book of Good Love. However, this is one of the few pieces of information that have been found about Juan Ruiz, author of the Book of Good Love. What makes this important document for being a testimony of the author.

On the other hand, an important issue is the date on which the Book of Good Love was made, which in turn is based on the information that was obtained by the codices that have been found throughout history.

Manuscripts and publication date

It can be seen that manuscript G was completed by the year 1330. On the other hand, manuscript S, which has novel narratives from the Book of Good Love, was completed by the year 1343.

For the critics of the Book of Good Love, Juan Ruiz proceeded to use his episodes that were already made in order to weave his story together. Therefore, it is ensured that the first version of the Book of Good Love was made in 1330.


After this publication, the author added other poems, which are specifically based on the lyrical genre. All this, in order to completely carry out the Book of Good Love, which means that from that moment on it is currently published in the way it is narrated.


The first element related to the Book of Good Love focuses specifically on the main aspects of the ecclesiastical literature that was based on the times in which the book was written.

This is due to the fact that Juan Ruiz had a totally rhetorical formation that was based on totally religious aspects. It is for this reason that the author was most likely subjected in his youth to attend a cathedral school, typical of the religion of the Henares basin or even in Alcalá.

Therefore, most of the writing in the book is based on a sermon structure, considered popular, called extra division. It is for this reason that topics related to morality are covered, which was in turn a primordial element of exempla.

Similarly, in the Book of Good Love, confession systems appear, in turn catechisms and prayers in the form of hymns that show the devotion that exists for the Heavenly Father.

[su_note] It is also important to mention that the most important topic in the Book of Good Love is love. Therefore, his system is based on Ovidian European literature from medieval times. Which in turn highlights the elegiac comedies that are related to the Ars Amandi and the Remedia amores. Allowing this information to be represented and unwrapped throughout Europe.[/su_note]


Likewise, all the aspects that left their mark within the Book of Good Love are discussed. Courtly love is an important part of the story, which in turn is based on Goliardesque literature.

outstanding fonts

The most important sources within the Book of Good Love focus mainly on aspects related to literature of Western European origin. Despite this, we must take into account that the Book of Good Love contains exemplum that come from Arabic literature, which in turn have been translated into Latin around the peninsula for the thirteenth century.

It should be taken into account that characters such as Américo Castro proceeded to directly link the Libro de Buen Amor with the elements that make up Arabic literature. Therefore, he calls it a Mudejar union, due to the metric extension. Which is in turn altered between fiction and reality. Which leads it to be an autobiography of love range.

Américo Castro, compared the Book of Good Love, is related to El Collar de la Paloma, by the author Ibn Hazm. Despite this, it is important to mention that the aspects that are part of these stories are also taken specifically by European literature and in turn to autobiography. Especially in stories that relate to erotic works. Which are characteristic for the Ovid material of medieval times.

[su_note]It should be mentioned that it is very unlikely that Juan Ruiz knew classical Arabic. Therefore, the Book of Good Love, despite containing Moorish lexicons, should not be related to a certain knowledge of colloquial Arabic, which is directly related to the Mudejar peoples. Which exaggerated within Hita, which in turn forms part of the surroundings of the place.[/su_note]

font gender

For María Rosa Lida de Malkiel, the Book of Good Love is related to autobiography with the Hebrew genre of the magamat. Which in turn is directly related to the Book of Delights by the author Yosef ben Meir ibn Sabarra, exactly in n. 1140.

In turn, it focuses on negatives that focus mainly on Arabic literature and in turn the little knowledge of the Hebrew writings. What highlights that the author did not know about these cultures and much less about his literature. Well, Ruiz did not go beyond Christian works.

On the other hand, Gybbon Monypenny highlights the aspects related to the edition of the Libro de Buen Amor, which was made in 1984. It is based on the autobiography with features of the French romance.

Where you can see its similarity to works with Guillaume de Machaut's own Voir Dit. Which in turn has a similar analogy, which visualizes some lyrical songs.

It should be mentioned that by the end of the XNUMXth century, it was sought to link the Book of Good Love with love poems, which in turn are similar to erotic adventures. Which allows lyrical poetry to form a direct relationship with this work.

In addition to this, there are poets like Nicole de Margival with Dit de la Panthére who visualizes elements similar to the work. Where reference is made to the love that exists between the gods and in turn the feelings that can be glimpsed within a poem as it was for Adam de la Halle.

Similarly, the Book of Good Love cites autobiographies of love, related to lyrical songs such as Frauendienst, which was published in 1255.

concrete sources

Some are based on stories of Eastern origin that are directly introduced into the Arabic of the Peninsula, as is the case of Calila and Dimna and Sendeba. You can also see certain quotes and echoes with is the case of the Psalms, the Canonical Hours, Apocalypse, Saint Gregory the Great and the Book of Job. Therefore, many believe that the author was inspired by these writings.


For critics in general terms, the Book of Good Love is related to the comedies with elegiac features, De Vetula and also Pamphilus. Where the protagonists narrate the adventures of love through poetry that is narrated from representative episodes.

Similarly Pamphilus is considered important for the texts of the Book of Good Love, where the writer of the same indicates that the episode in which a situation with Don Melón and Doña Endrina arises, is a representation of Latin comedy.

It should be mentioned that the priests that corresponded to the Middle Ages sought to narrate their sermons through techniques that are based on elements of attraction that are based on indoctrination.

Therefore Juan Ruiz, through ironic elements and at the same time ambiguous, is based on the sermons that were carried out in the medieval age. He doing it in the first person, making it easier for readers to enter the story.

Lyric poetry

[su_note]In the Book of Good Love, great content related to lyrical poetry is displayed. For this reason, it is highlighted that its primary content in reference to the narrative of the work is tetrastrophe and monorrimo. That is why you can see a large number of poems in the form of verses highlighting a good love. [/su_note]

From medieval times, specifically in the middle of the XNUMXth century, in the Libro de Buen Amor, it is the first lyrical story of the Spanish language. This is due to the fact that most of the poetic materials originating in Castillas are Galician or Portuguese.

A good example of this can be seen in a sermon in prose form found at the beginning of the Book of Good Love. Where Juan Ruiz seeks to describe the elements that led him to write this story, which is as follows.

Give some lessons and sample of metering and rrimar and trobar.

Book of good love, ed. from Gybbon-Monypenny, 1984, pp. 110-111.

Therefore, we can ensure that the Book of Good Love represents a variety of lyrical material. Counting on their genres, conforming the lyrics that are part of Castilian. Where even the lyric based on religion is involved, such as hymns, joys and even prayers.


The author, Juan Ruiz, also called the Archpriest of Hita, cataloged himself as the first poet capable of mastering all the genres that make up the Castilian language. Therefore, the Book of Good Love makes direct reference to the culture of the clerics.

Similarly, it contains a broad language, which is considered creative and in turn varied. Which in turn reflects everyday elements and in turn more complex, as is the case of ecclesiastical prayers. The Book of Good Love reflects a great extension in its lexicon. In addition to this, certain terms that make up the Andalusian Arabic speech that was used in medieval times can be perceived.

[su_note]In the book several synonyms are displayed that are considered partial and in turn manage to increase the concept. At the same time, techniques that allow direct relationships with sermons are reflected. At the moment in which the Book of Good Love ends, its author indicates that any person has the opportunity to add or in turn correct some type of error in it. However, it contains after this the condition to perform the action correctly.[/su_note]

Juan Ruiz's attitude was totally contrary to that of other writers of the time, who sought rather to establish and in turn root their writings, as is the case of Don Juan Manuel, another totally outstanding writer. It is important that you take into account, what are the rhetorical figures that you can visualize within the Book of Good Love:

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  • The reduplication.
  • Similarly, the appositions.
  • Also the repetitions.
  • The questions that are part of the rhetoric.[/su_list]


In the Libro de Buen Amor, the f's frequently stand out and a few h's also abound at the beginning, as is the case in the Spanish we know today.

On the other hand, some differences are visualized in relation to the first vowel of the preterite simple fezo as well as veno. Which in turn are similar to the current fizo and wine method.

In addition to this, you can see the consonants d, n, l, ll, r and z that are constantly used as the apocope of e that are expressed under pi, vien, val, quier and face. Which in turn currently mean ask, come, okay, want and do.


The Book of Good Love has three manuscripts, which are not complete in any case. This process, in turn, is proof that the Book of Good Love was published and in turn read at the time of the Middle Ages. Reflecting this situation, until the evolution came to the invention of the printing press.

[su_note]It is important to mention that it is believed that a fragmentary version of the fourteenth century was made, under the Portuguese language. On the other hand, the Libro de Buen Amor was taken into account as a repertoire that has a good number of poems. Which in turn reflects that the passages of this story could be transmitted through oral resources for many years.[/su_note]

In the same way, it is believed that there could have been a considerable influence for the car Juan Ruiz, towards the work of Chaucer. Since there are quotations from the book by Juan Ruiz from the fifteenth century. Where the Archpriest of Talavera and the Marquis of Santillana are discussed.

In spite of this, since the beginning of the XNUMXth century, the influence generated in the literature of later features, loses almost in its entirety the power that it had in the history of the Book of Good Love.

[su_note]Therefore, the proper reception of the Book of Good Love has been studied by many. An example of this is Alan D Deyermond, presenting his opinions under his article, called The diffusion and reception of the Book of Good Love, from its beginnings with the author Juan Ruiz to Antonio Sánchez, under a provisional chronology. Demonstrating his studies on the literature that marked the pattern in the Middle Ages. [/ Su_note]

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