Friendship in Garcilaso's Second Eclogue: Thematic Unity and Philosophical Inquiry

by Matthew A. Wyszynski
Friendship in Garcilaso's Second Eclogue: Thematic Unity and Philosophical Inquiry
Matthew A. Wyszynski
Hispanic Review
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MATTHEWA. WYSZYNSKI University of Akron, Ohio

OVE is a constant theme in the poetry of Garci- laso de la Vega, and several important studies have improved our understanding of what this concept meant to the poet and to his contempo- raries in general (Jones, "The Idea of Love"; Par- ker 43-51). But love, in addition to being an im- portant theme of poetry, was an important topic of philosophical discourse and inquiry, though it was by no means the only one. Friendship was another constant found in many theo- retical systems of moral philosophy of the period, but only recently has this topic become the interest of scholars, and relatively few studies that analyze the ways in which Renaissance authors made use of this theme in their works have been published to date. Garcilaso, as a product of his times and as a man of letters, unques- tionably was aware of the ebb and flow of the philosophical dis- course around him, and one would be surprised to find his work limited to one theme, albeit one as important as love, to the exclu- sion of all others. If we turn to the poet's Second Eclogue with this idea in mind, we find that the topic of friendship does indeed con- stitute a fundamental part of the structure of this work because it provides thematic unity to the entire poem. In order to understand how friendship lends itself to poetic cohesion, I must first briefly describe the Renaissance concept of friendship, as well as the means

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by which Garcilaso was familiar with this philosophical background. With this theoretical framework established, I will then analyze the Second Eclogue, demonstrating that the theme of friendship consti- tutes the force that unites otherwise disparate parts of the compo- sition, and moreover that Garcilaso, through the use of friendship, also begins to analyze the boundary between friendship and love.

The growth of Renaissance humanism in Spain brought a renewed interest in moral philosophy, and Castilian presses were quick to pub- lish the texts which their readers demanded (Beardsley 29). Aristotle and Cicero in particular held a special place in the cultural and educa- tional environment of the day-Cicero as a model of purity of style and Aristotle as the base of most philosophic discome. Their ideas regard- ing friendship were especially influential in Renaissance thought: Anstotle's Ethics, of which the eighth and ninth books constitute the bulk of his ideas regarding friendship, and Cicero's De A~nicitiawere published in their origmal form as well as translated into the vernacular (Bolgar 509, 527), and in the case of Aristotle, also into Latin (Bolgar 272). Cicero, for exan~ple, was read during a student's initiation into the art of composition and rhetoric, and teachers would often use his treatise on friendship as a model of imitation. Aristotle, however, was not as easily accessible to younger readers, and the study of his Ethics was not introduced until advanced comes in moral philosophy were taken, generally at the university. As we shall see, however, even those not fortunate enough to receive university training had ready access to his ideas through treatises written by Renaissance authors. Conse- quently, in order to begin a basic reconstruction of a neglected part of the philosophic tradition in which Garcilaso and his contemporaries were writing, we must first examine what these two great classical authors had to say on the topic.

In his Nicomachean Ethics Aristotle deals with the theme of friendship more systematically and logically than perhaps any other author of Antiquity. He contends that friendship is a natural, univer- sal inclination (453), but that this disposition must be actively exer- cised. Goodwill and concord (or sociability) motivate man to actively enter into friendships, and to form a relation, these feelings must be reciprocated. Friendships are formed and classified according to motivation: utility, pleasure, or goodness. The utilitarian friendship is the most common, and the participants do not love the other for any intrinsic quality, but rather because of some possible benefit that they may accrue by means of the relationship. When one or the other

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cannot receive these benefits, they end the friendship. Likewise, the second type of friendship, the one based on pleasure, does not have virtue or goodness as its base. Men enter this relationship for en- joyment and each derives pleasure from the other. Again, when one or the other fails to satisfy, the friendship is terminated. The final and highest form of friendship is formed between good men and is based upon virtue. Good men love each other for themselves and not because of any pleasure or other benefits that will be derived from the relationship. Notwithstanding this foundation of virtue, each friend will enjoy the other's company and will try to help the other as much as possible. This aspect of true friendship as a composite relationship is fundamental to Aristotelian theory, and is a facet that nearly all the Renaissance preceptors recognize to be true. One of the benefits of the friendship with the virtuous is that the good helps his friend grow in virtue. Since virtue is a permanent quality, these friendship also tend to be permanent. Of course, Aristotle observes, these friendships are rare because men of such high caliber are quite uncommon. Another consequence of this rarity is that such friend- ships are limited in number to two men not only because such a man is hard to find, but also because it is impossible to share a great deal of intimacy with many others.

Cicero is less formal than Aristotle in his treatment of the theme of friendship, and though he delineates between higher and lower forms of friendship, he does so for comparative purposes, focusing on true friendship. With the exception of virtue, Cicero says, friend- ship is the greatest gift man knows (139). His definition of friendship is quite straightforward: "an accord in all things, human and divine, conjoined with mutual goodwill and affection" (131) between good men, as that term is commonly understood (129). Again, as in Aristotle, the concept of mutual goodwill is key to understanding the relationship; if the feeling is not reciprocal, the friendship does not exist. Cicero describes more fully than Aristotle the duties and actions of friends. He remarks that absolute honesty is necessary, and hypocrisy must be banished. There are also limits to be observed by both parties, namely, friends should never ask another to do what is dishonorable, and should not comply with such a request (151). Such wicked behavior or any other outburst of vice is reason enough to break off the friendship, though this should be done gradually to prevent any enmity from forming (185). However, given the political upheaval during Cicero's life, it is not surprising to find that his

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concept of friendship extends beyond the merely personal into the political. Pizzolato has extensively studied the idea of friendship in Antiquity and observes that, "A Ciceron le resulta dificil imaginar una amistad verdadera y completa que no implique compartir las ideas politicas, sino que se quede solo a nivel personal" (170), though Brunt adds an important caveat to this observation: "Within this spectrum [of amicable relations] purely political connections have their place, but one whose all-importance must not be assumed" (20). For Cicero, at least, friendship and politics can be combined.

With this understanding-albeit quite schematic and simplified-of Renaissance sources, we can move to texts which were roughly con- temporary to Garcilaso's life. Since this is not a comprehensive survey of the early sixteenth-century literature of friendship, I have selected three texts-a Latin treatise, a verse work in Castilian, and Castiglione's Il Cortegiano-not as authoritative or definitive works on the subject, but rather as illustrative of the ways in which Renaissance authors dealt with the theme.

Roderigo de Encino's Opusculum amicitiae (1505?) is an amal- gamation of both Aristotelian and Ciceronian ideas, often referring to these authors by name, though he also intersperses Biblical citations throughout his treatise to illustrate certain key points. Encino main- tains the Aristotelian tripartite division of friendship, but much of his praise of the ideal friendship is founded upon the Ciceronian epi- deictic of the De Amicitia. This writer, like the sources he draws upon, also considers mutual goodwill and the recognition of that feeling to be an essential element of the relationship: "amicicia est benivolentia mutua non latens" (aii). Moreover, Encino gives his readers advice about the way in which one can distinguish a true friend from a false one. This distinction is based primarily on certain attributes that a true friend should have, namely discretione (discre- tion), jides or jidelitas, (fidelity), and calr'tas (love). All these per- sonal attributes must be tested over a long period of time, and only then will one know if he has found a tn~e friend.

Francisco de Castilla's Tratado cle la anzigigia (1508?) also closely follows the classical preceptors, maintaining the tripartite division of friendship, though he also adds class categories as defining factors of friendship. For him, friendship established between two equal in- dividuals most deserves that name, but he also recognizes "exgelsa amiyigia" and "subjeta amigi~ia" (384~). These relationships are found between ruler and ruled, for instance, and each party has certain re-

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sponsibilities that must be kept. Castilla clearly defines six charac- teristics of true friendship: "que sea permanente, por fin de si misma en ausenqia y presente, perfeta, muy buena, muy grande, muy rata" (483~). Although some of these attributes seem somewhat vague ("perfeta," "buena," "grande"), the others are clearly drawn from precepts in both Aristotle and Cicero. Furthermore, this theorist also gives common attributes of a good friend: he should be "libre," "consejable," "hurnilde," "franco," and "liberal." Although none of these characteristics consti- tutes a new development in the theory of friendship, Castilla's exposi- tion of them is clear and straightforward. Consequently, these qualities, which are mentioned in the other treatises but overshadowed by other theoretical considerations, are perceived as especially important as presented by Castilla.

The final work regarding friendship to be considered is Castig- lione's I1 Co~tegiano(1528; first Spanish edition 1534), which briefly deals with the theme of friendship. I have included it in this short study because of the well known link between Bosch, who trans- lated this Italian work to Spanish, and Garcilaso de la Vega. While it is probable that Garcilaso never read Encino's or Castilla's treatises-and I have used them only as representative texts-he was surely familiar with Castiglione's work, as we shall see. One of the "important lessons" of the second book is the observations regarding friendship (Woodhouse 91), and here Castiglione distin- guishes himself from the other authors in question by his examina- tion of more than one side of the issue of friendship. Whereas Encino and Castilla hold in common Aristotelian and Ciceronian sentiment that friendship is defacto a good to be desired by man (Aristotle 453; Cicero 131; Castilla 483r; Encino aii), Castiglione takes another track when broaching this topic. The theme of friendship enters the con- versation as the group discusses how one person judges another based on exterior circumstances. Federico observes that of all other things, man's reputation is most greatly influenced by his choice of friends. That is, a man with virtuous friends will be thought virtuous, and one with wicked friends wicked, a variation on the Aristotelian sentiment that like attracts like (Aristotle 453-55). Bembo replies, rather cynically it seems, that he has never had a true friend, that every friendship he has had ended at some point in betrayal, and that the concept of friendship is a "tempting trap" (138), an apparent good which eventually leads to harm. Federico replies to this by exalting friendship in a very Ciceronian style, and then lapsing into the

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qualities and attributes of a true friend that the ideal courtier should have. In general these qualities reflect most of what we have seen in the Spanish treatises of the period.

In spite of the pervasiveness of this theme in Classical and Renaissance treatises, one cannot hastily assume that Garcilaso had studied them or was even familiar with them, though this appears to be the case and can be deduced in several different ways. The first, and perhaps most convincing, is Garcilaso's close ties with Boscan, who, as we have seen, was responsible for making Castiglione's 11 Cortegiano available to a wider reading public in Spain through his translation. Garcilaso himself wrote the dedicatory epistle to the work, the only composition of the Prince of Poets published in his lifetime (Keniston 179). It was Garcilaso who reklewed the transla- tion with Boscan in Barcelona in 1533 (Keniston 124), and so he certainly read the work and was familiar with the ideas therein, including the ideas expressed on friendship.

The second convincing bit of evidence to support Garcilaso's knowledge of these ideas of friendship is found in his education as a boy and young man. In his biography of the poet, Keniston mentions Garcilaso's great debt to his school masters because of the great love and knowledge of the classics they inspired in their charge (2'7). At the same time, though, Keniston maintains that regardless of the new-born humanistic movement in Spain, "the elementary texts used by students long remained those that the Middle Ages had employed" (33). Another historian goes as far as to say that Spanish pedagogy was completely medieval until the arrival of the Jesuits in the latter part of the sixteenth century (Bolgar 361). But given more recent studies detailing the educational reforms of humanism and of the effect of humanism in general as early as the beginning of the fourteenth-century in Spain, Garcilaso may have indeed been sub- jected to a more humanistic environment during his younger years than has been supposed. Di Camillo argues, for example, that the change from the medieval concept of rhetoric as primarily the ars dictarninis to a more useful and well rounded theory of communi- cation begins as early as 1403, represented by the appointment of an Italian to the chair of rhetoric at the University of Salamanca (60). With this shift of the conceptualization of rhetoric came a realization of the Ciceronian ideal of the rhetorician as a good man-the vir borzus berze dicendi. As a consequence of this new emphasis on virtue and the active life, the study of moral philosophy also became

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a fundamental constituent of the studia humanitatis, serving to form the character of the orator while at the same time displacing the medieval subject of logic (Kristeller 271 and Vasoli 59). Spain was no exception to this pedagogical trend. So in light of these new studies, it seems probable that Garcilaso received at least a rudimentary humanistic education, during which he would have been exposed to at least some of these concepts of friendship.

In addition to his studies, it must be remembered that Garcilaso de la Vega was a man of the world: he traveled throughout the empire of Charles V, making acquaintances of all sorts and being exposed to a host of different ideas and literatures. Perhaps the most intellec- tually stimulating of these exchanges occurred in Naples during Garcilaso's exile from the Imperial Court (Mele 110-19; Keniston 117-28). It was here that he joined fellow poets in Scipione Capece's home and discussed authors and works (Keniston 117-18). He was also well known to poets outside this academic circle, as their own poetic compositions show. Garcilaso is mentioned in one of Tansillo's work, and several of Garcilaso's sonnets are addressed to several Neapolitan poets (Keniston 120). Within such an intellectual circle, Garcilaso was bound to come into contact with the humanistic ideas in circulation at the time in Italy, the birthplace of humanism. It has even been argued that the Second Eclogue is "el primer fruto de la educacion filosofica que Garcilaso recibio en Napoles" (Jones, "Garcilaso, poeta del humanismo" 4).

Finally, and most persuasively, Garcilaso's famharity with the theo- retical aspects of friendship is undoubtedly reflected in several of his shorter poetic compositions. In his Soneto XIX, for example, the poet larr~ents his separation from a dear friend, Julio Cksar Caracciolo. The absence is bitter, but the friend's thoughts are never far from his companion (2), and moreover, theirs is a communion of souls:

Y con este temor mi lengua prueba a razonar con vos, oh dulce amigo, del amarga memoria d'aquel dia en que yo comence como testigo a poder dar, del alma vuestra, nueva y a sabella de vos del alma mia. (9-14)

On another occasion, in Soneto xxxv,Garcilaso expresses his "fe pura" and "gran firn~eza" toward his friend, Mario Galeota. And finally, in his "Epistola a Bosch," Garcilaso describes his relation-

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ship with Juan Bosch and evidently considers it "el amistad perfeta" (9). At the same time he shows certain awareness of the composite nature of this type of friendship: "considerando 10s provechos,/las honras y 10s gustos que me vienenldesta vuestra arnistad" (36-38). These three aspects-the honor, the pleasure, and the useful-are found as important aspects of true friendship, as we have seen, in the most popular classical sources and much of the Renaissance litera- ture on the subject. We can say without a doubt that Garcilaso was well acquainted with this theme and used it along with others in his poetic compositions.

Nevertheless, the use of friendship as a theme in the Second Eclogue is not so apparent as it is in these shorter poetic works. Attention is first drawn to this theme in the eclogue because of the absence of the topic in Garcilaso's literary antecedents, especially Virgil, Petrarch and Sannazaro. Garcilaso does inherit the strong lyrical quality, as well as the importance of the theme of love from his predecessors, but none of his models incorporate friendship as in- tegrally into the structure of their work as he does. Accordingly, this break with tradition points to the important role that friendship plays in the Spaniard's composition.

As I have already mentioned, most critics who have employed a thematic analysis of the Second Eclogue have centered on love as the main theme. Although love plays a fundamental role in its creation, to limit oneself to studying the poet's exposition of love is to neglect the elaborate set of connections that Garcilaso employs in his poetry. Nowhere in his work is this complex interrelationship of themes expressed as clearly as it is in Albanio's adventure. The story is very simple: Albanio, the shepherd who is dying for love of Camila, is the protagonist of the work, and the poet has chosen this character to act as the central axis for his narration. Salicio and Nemoroso, two of Albanio's companions, attempt to heal Albanio's sickness, which has been brought on by Camila's rejection. It is because of Albanio's malady that Nemoroso mentions Severo, a wise man who had once cured Nemoroso of the disease of love. Nemoroso suggests that he might do the same for Albanio. The mention of Severo, who was also Don Fernando de Toledo's tutor, is pretext for a lengthy panegyric of this Duke of Alba's life, after which the friends decide that Albanio should see Severo. At this point the eclogue ends.

The interaction between Albanio and Salicio, and to a lesser degree Nemoroso, most closely resembles the friendship described

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by theorists. Theirs is a relationship based on the common pursuits in life and a shared profession. But we see that they are more than colleagues and that their relationship has matured over time: "l'hemos mk tratado,/manso, cuerdo, agradable, virtiioso,lsufrido, conversable, buen amigo" (903-05). Albanio has exhibited the most important of the character attributes necessary for friendship: he is virtuous. His friends see this illness as temporary and something to be overcome, and not an irreparable breach to their friendship. By assisting this friend in need, they do nothing more than their duty to friendship: "En procurar cualquiera beneficiola la vida y salud d'un tal amigo,/haremos el debido y justo oficio" (1035-37).

As we have seen, the theorists hold that mutual good and com- munication are fundamental to a healthy friendship, and these traits are epitomized by the relationship between Albanio and Salicio. When the shepherd comes upon his friend, the once "conversable" Albanio has turned taciturn and no longer wants to share his thoughts with Salicio: "~Aqui estk tu, Salicio? Gran consuelo/me fuera en cualquier mal tu compaSiia,/mas tengo en esto por contrario el cielo" (125-27). His grief is so great that it even threatens their friendship. Nevertheless, Salicio is not dissuaded, observing that "que'l mal, comunichdose, mejora" (142). Albanio agrees with the sentiment, but qualifies it, "Con un amigo tal, verdad es eso" (143). In other words, the simple act of communicating his pain is not cathartic, as Salicio has implied, but it is only by conversing with a friend that one has the possibility of being cured. Albanio still seems to doubt the effects that the deep bonds of friendship can have, "yo siento mi dolor, y tu mi ultraje" (394). It is impossible for one friend to feel the hurt and grief that another suffers, but only to be grieved by the injury incurred to the friend's honor. In spite of Albanio's doubt, Salicio insists that friends such as they are capable of sharing and feeling their innermost pain: "ruegote que tu ma1 quieras contarme1 porque d'el pueda tanto entristecermelcuanto suelo del bien tuyo alegrarme" (404-06). This facet of friendship, sharing good times and bad, was dealt with thoroughly by Aristotle (569-71), and its use in the eclogue indicates another mark of the true friendship that the shepherds share. Evidently Albanio remains somewhat skeptical, but in order to please his friend he promises to tell him all his troubles, although not without some reservation as to the wisdom of doing so: "yo sere dulce m6s que sano amigoly dare buen lugar a tu tristeza" (414-15). In effect, Albanio wants to protect Salicio from any grief,

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and it is only at the friend's insistence that he shares his troubles. The communication in this friendship is genuine, and each is aware of the preoccupation of the other. Therefore, in light of the theoretical paradigm of friendship, the relationship between Albanio and Salicio can only be understood as "amistad perfecta."

On the other hand, Nemoroso's friendship with both Salicio and Albanio is problematic when viewed in light of the prevalent theory of friendship, and his behavior calls into question just what kind of friend he is. Through Salicio the reader learns that the three are apparently more than acquaintances. As I have observed above, Salicio speaks of the friendship that the three men share, and feels that they will be doing their duty as friends by helping Albanio. Nemoroso, however, is silent regarding his friendship with Albanio, and although he expresses strong emotion at the possibility of Albanio's death ("como de vello muerto estoy llorando" [955]), he never addresses him as "arnigo" as one would expect, but only as "compaiiero" (1025, 1856, and 1064). Nemoroso's friendship is fur- ther questioned when the two shepherds come upon Albanio, who is considering suicide for the second time. Nemoroso does not take this scene seriously, and when Salicio attempts unsuccessfully to hold Albanio back, Nemoroso eaoys the spectacle. Salicio even chastises him for it: ''&Con la vida te burlas, Nemoroso?/iVen, ya no 'stes tan donoso!" (1000-01). Nemoroso's response is a lighthearted pany "Luego vengo;/en cuanto me detengo aqui un poco,/ver6 como de un loco te desatas" (1001-02). It is only when Salicio is in serious jeopardy at the hands of his sick friend that Nemoroso acts.

Nemoroso's speech and actions in this situation have three effects. First, it excludes him from being considered a serious friend of either Salicio or Albanio. He never addresses either of the two as "amigos," certainly notable for its absence. Furthermore, a true friend would never play such a practical joke with his friends' lives at stake. In fact, many theorists expressly prohibit this sort of beha- vior: "la amistad de 10s sabios y virtuosos no consiente chocarreros ni hombres que se precian de burlar" pillal6n 17). Furthermore, introducing Nemoroso as a companion instead of a friend highlights differences in these relationships among these men. Nemoroso's behavior &ffers radically from Salicio's with respect to Albanio. When we see these two relationships side by side, Salicio's qualities as a true friend-his constancy, his faithfulness, his genuine concern-stand out. Finally, by excluding Nemoroso from the most

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intimate level of friendship, the poet tacitly accepts the theoretical limitation of two friends as the only feasible number to have in this sort of relationship.

By far the most interesting and important relationship in this work is not among men, but between a man and a woman-Albanio and Camila. It is through these characters that Garcilaso explores various types of friendships and examines the boundaries between the philosophic concepts of friendship and love. The reader is told the story of these two characters from differing points of view: first from Albanio's when he explains the cause of his dire condition to Salicio, and then from Camila's as she talks to herself and then justifies her actions to Albanio at the fountain.

Albanio's description is enlightening because through it he in- forms the reader as to the type of relationship he believes to have shared with Camila. He attempts to tell a tale of true love and how this love was wrongly rejected by his beloved, but the careful reader, with the Aristotelian tripartite division of friendship in mind, is able to discern another, completely different sort of relationship than the one in which Albanio wants to believe. He states that he and Camila are cousins who have known each other for a long time, and that she is "mk que la rnisma hermosura bella" (172). The emphasis here on the temporal aspect of their relation is somewhat at odds with the immediate mention of her beauty. The poet seems to have conflicting discourses competing for the reader's attention: the longevity of the relationship is often stressed in works on friendship, whereas the beauty of the beloved is a constant theme in the Neoplatonic theory of love. From the beginning of Albanio's description, then, there is a certain ambiguity regarding just exactly how one ought to consider and classify this relationship.

Other than this paradoxical description, the relationship between Camila and Albanio is not exceptional, at least not at the beginning of his narration. Camila, as a dedicated servant of Diana, exercises her duties to that goddess by hunting. Consequently Albanio, too, "seguia la caza con estudio y gana,/por deudo y ejercicio a confor- manne" (178-79) with Camila's habits. Other than the brief mention of Camila's beauty and Albanio's desire to "conformarse," the reader has no idea of Albanio's motivation in pursuing this relationship. The enamored shepherd recounts to Salicio that the two spend so much time together hunting that they settle into an almost domestic routine: Again, this description closely resernbles sorne of the descriptive passage found in several of the friendship treatises. These two protagonists spend a great deal of time together pursuing a mutual interest, hunting, and so the deepening emotional attachment is not surprising. Albanio does not expand on what he means by "holy and pure love," and as I shall argue below, it is his use of the word "amor" which eventually leads to problems.

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nne con ella en tal domestiqueza que della no sabia apartarme; iba de un hora en otra la estrecheza haciendose mayor, acompaiiada de un amor sano y lleno de pureza. (180-83)

However, one of the most outstanding features of Albanio's de- scription of his relationship with Camila is the emphasis that he places on the pleasurable times the two share. This attitude, in fact, dominates his entire discourse. He constantly uses words and phrases like "placer" (202), "mucho placer" (258), and "gran placer"

(290) to qualify the time the two spend together, describes their demeanor as "contentos y gozosos" (197) and "jam&. . . quejosos" (198), and also states baldly "de vida ociosa y blanda,/pasabamos el tiempo alegremente" (237-38). In light of his own admission, it is impossible to classify Albanio's association with Camila as any other than one based on pleasure, just the same type as that found in the Renaissance theories of friendship, though with one very exception.

The attachment developing in the Second Eclogue between Albanio and Canda is between man and wornan, yet the treatise writers on the theme of friendship presuppose that both participants are men. In Garcilaso's poem, this is not the case, and it is because of the gender difference that problems arise. This "friendship," based on pleasure to be sure, cannot endure because as Albanio himself adnuts, "aquesta tan sencillaly tan pura amistad quiso nu hado/en diferente especie conver- tilla" (314-16). The friendship is simple, and certainly pure in the sense of "not con~posite," but it just is not meant to exist between a man and a woman. These new feelings of love have their root in the old feelings that he has shared with Carnila as a friend: "El placer de rniralla con teniblely fiero desear senti mesclarse" (320-21). When at Carnila's insistence Albanio finally tells her about this new love he feels toward her, she utterly rejects him and runs off. After relating this sad story to Salicio, Albanio just wants to be alone, and it is after his true friend leaves him that he spies Canda near the fountain.

Garcilaso's Eclogue

It is through the conversations at the fountain where Camila has rejected Albanio that the reader learns how the young huntress has interpreted their relationship. First she says to herself, "que no quierol menos un compaiiero que yo amaba,/mas no como 61 pensaba" (747- 49). Carnila has seen this friendship as it truly is, an inferior type based on pleasure. Albanio is not a true "anugo" but only a "compaiiero," and she loves him not for any intrinsic quality that he has, but for the pleasure she derives hunting with him. She simply wants to continue with the life of pleasure-"Quiero vivir contenta y olvidalloly aqui donde me hallo recrearme" (760-61)-just as one would expect her to do after having ended such a friendship, since, as Aristotle notes, this type is broken off quickly (461).

But in spite of Camila's feelings after the fact, both in her narra- tion and in Albanio's, we see the first attempts at a true friendship. Many of the prerequisites are present. These two have known each other since their childhood. They are relatives and thus are predis- posed, according to Aristotle, to friendship (497-99). And the scene between the two at the fountain that Albanio narrates closely par- allels the opening scene between Albanio and Salicio. Salicio at- tempts to convince Albanio to share his pain, and in nearly the same way so does Camila. Albanio says:

ella, que con cuidado diligente a conocer mi ma1 tenia el inteno y a escodrifiar el animo doliente, con nuevo ruego y firme juramento me conjuro y rogo que le contase la causa de mi grave pensamiento.


It is only because Camila swears by the "verdadero amor" (464-65) that she feels toward him that Albanio capitulates and tells her she will see his love in fountain. Of course, she only sees herself, and this is the end of their friendship because, as Camila will later accuse him, "~Tu no violaste nuestra compaiiia,/quiri6ndola torcer por el caminolque la vida honesta se desvia?" (817-19). By allowing his desire to interfere in the friendship that they have shared, Albanio has crossed the limits of what is acceptable, and so the friendship necessarily ends.

At the root of this tragic misunderstanding is the polysemic nature of the word "amor," which Camila and Albanio use in different ways. At this point, it is wise to remember the ever-present linguistic variance at work in language: "These semantic webs [surrounding words], broadening, contracting, acquiring new overtones and inflec- tions, bear witness to the advent and retreat of social norms" (Di- mock 1060). Before the term "arnor" can be understood in the context of this eclogue, it must first be understood in the larger social context. Returning momentarily to some of Garcilaso's other works, we see that he indeed uses "amor" to describe at least two strong, but different sentimental attachments. In some of his poetry, especially the pastoral works, "amor" is employed to describe the passionate feelings between man and woman, and in the pastoral, "the fulfill- ment of the passion of love [is] the consumn~ation of man's erotic wishes" (Poggioli 42). In other instances, the poet describes the emotional bond that unites two friends as "love." In his "Epistola a Bosch," for instance, Garcilaso uses "amor" three times and "amar" once, and it is in fact love that joined the two men's hearts (53-54). In light of the word's dual meaning within the Garcilasian corpus, then, its use in the Second Eclogue must be reexamined and perhaps reinterpreted. Albanio clearly understands it to mean the strong, passionate feelings between a man and a woman, and believes that Camila uses it to mean the same thing. She does not. Her "amor" is undoubtedly closely related to the strong feelings found in the true friendship between equals, and this is why she can honestly pledge to listen to Albanio with "el verdadero amor" (465). Camila apparently is attempting to establish something more than just a friendship based on pleasure, even though such an attempt is doomed to failure because of man's ("man" and not "human") nature. She succinctly states: "Aqueste es de 10s hombres el oficio/tentar el mal, y si es malo el sucesolpedir con humildad perdon del vicio" (823-25). Using this friendship as an example, the poet demonstrates that even though women may be capable and willing friends, an "amistad perfecta" between man and woman is impossible because any strong senti- mental attachment will lead to desire. It is by means of the relation- ship between Albanio and Camila that Garcilaso pushes the limits of moral philosophy and deals with a topic not often found in the treatises of the period.

Up to this point in the eclogue, Garcilaso has presented several types of friendships-the "amistad perfecta" between Albanio and Salicio, and the lesser friendships anlong Albanio, Salicio and Nemoroso and that be&-een Albanio and Carnila The second part of the eclogue, ostensibly a panegyic of the Duke of Alba, is 'also a continuation of this theme, but

Garcilaso's Eclogue

less overtly so. The praise heaped upon Fernando de Toledo, the third Duke of Alba, serves to create, "un mito, sintesis de varias concepciones ideales del hombre" (Arce de Vhquez 70). Necessarily for a man of the Renaissance, one of these conceptions would be the subject's realiza- tion as a friend. So when Nemoroso recounts the greatness of the House of Alba, the propitious signs under which Fernando was born, h~ education, his valor as a warrior, his heroic exploits under Carlos V, even the brief encomium of Alba's wife Dofia Maria as "dulce, pura, hermosa, sabia, honesta" (1418), all of these descriptions serve to en- hance esteem for the duke. And certainly most important, especially to the theme of friendship, is the duke's virtue: "mas el por compatiera tom6 aquella [virtud]/sig~uendo a la qu'es bella descubierta y juzgada" (1424-26). Within the context of the poem, this description has an immediate effect on Salicio, who exclaims:

Aca dentro me siento oyendo tantos bienes y el valor deste pnncipe escogido, bullir con el sentido y arder con el deseo por contemplar presente aquel que, 'stando ausente, por tu di~lna relacion ya veo.


The concentration of all these ideal qualities found in one man are enough to make Salicio want strongly to meet him; indeed, with all the attributes afforded him, the duke would undoubtedly be the perfect friend. Moreover, this encomium Fernando de Toledo also senres an extratextual purpose. Other critics have correctly pointed out that Nemoroso's panegyric could just have well been placed in the real life Garcilaso's mouth as an expression of gratitude toward the duke for his friendship and constancy toward the poet in times of trouble (Lapesa 102; Arce Vkquez 70). True friendship, as has been noted, does not necessarily preclude political alliances. When the discourse on the Duke of Alba is seen as a reflection of both personal and political aspects of friendship, it becomes the poetic expression of yet another facet of Renaissance friendship and serves to rein- force further the unity of the entire eclogue.

The inclusion of this very real historical friendship between Garcilaso and the Duke of Alba has led same critics to seek other autobiographical details in the other relationships described in the

Matthew A. Wysxynski HR 68 (2000)

work. It is not necessary, however, to search for a one-to-one cor- respondence between the characters of the eclogue and Garcilaso's real life friends and companions since the work can be cohesively interpreted as a "dramatizacion de una teoria" (Jones, "Garcilaso, poeta del humanismo" 4). Though Jones believes that Garcilaso uses the theme of love to unite the different parts of the eclogue, I have demonstrated that in spite of the importance of love, friendship, in a variety of forms, is the strongest unifying element of the Second Eclogue, and it is by means of the dramatization that Garcilaso demonstrates the richness and the variety of the types of friendships found in the treatises of the period.

In effect, Garcilaso turns an important Renaissance ethical issue into a unique, at times personal, poetic statement. Albanio and Salicio are the literary representation of the theoretical ideal. Their behavior, communication, and willingness to help a friend through troubled times are proposed as a model worthy of emulation. More- over, the virtue of these two true friends is further highlighted by the inclusion of friendships that do not measure up to the highest, most perfect forn~. Nemoroso, who should be fully capable of enjoying perfect friendship, fails to do so because he places his own self- interest above those of his companions; his lack of virtue is the ultimate obstacle to true friendship. In effect, he is the poetic mani- festation of the false friend postulated by the theorists. Conversely, the failure of Albanio and Camila's inferior friendship can be ex- planed only in part by the Renassance theory of friendship: when the source of pleasure between these two people ceases to please one of them, the friendship ends. On the other hand, the prevalent theory completely ignores the new topic that Garcilaso takes up in the eclogue: the possibility of friendship between a man and a woman. In the Classical and Renaissance treatises, friendship is a social bond between men. Women, it seems, are precluded from partaking in this relationship. Through the representation of this male/female relationship, the poet does not employ friendship as solely a unitive theme in the poem, but rather with this portrayal of friendships he attempts to transcend the limitations established by the theory and explore situations not analyzed by the philosophers. Garcilaso probes the limits of friendship, love and passion, and though Camila wishes for her friendship with the shepherd to evolve to a higher form, it is impossible because of man's innate ability to keep passion felt for a woman separate from any friendly feelings for

Garcilaso's Eclogue


her. It is not because Albanio is incapable of forming friendships of the highest sort that this one fails, but rather it is because his love is naturally transformed into passion, which ultimately leads to the failure of this relationship. Garcilaso implicitly poses the question, "Can a man and a woman be friends?" and then answers with a resounding "No!" Finally, by devoting a large part of the eclogue to extolling the virtues of the Duke of Alba, Garcilaso expands his treatment of friendship even further. Because of his virtue, the duke produces admiration in Salicio, the character that has already proven himself to be a true friend. The inlplication is clear: the duke would be a model friend, just as Salicio is. Though this poetic portrait of the duke is illustrative of the perfect friend, one cannot ignore the possibility that encomium of the poet's friend and protector is also the manifestation of the union of friendship and politics, by no means mutually exclusive categories in the Renaissance.

In sum, Garcilaso's poetic genius engages the ethical concept of friendship and uses this philosophical concept to lend thematic unity to his long poetic composition. The Second Eclogue skillfully weaves together the multifaceted Renaissance concept of "friend," and through the failed friendship between male and female, the poet explores the boundaries established by the philosophers.


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