9 julio, 2024

Jorge Manrique: who he was, biography and works

Who was Jorge Manrique?

jorge manrique (c. 1440-1479) was one of the most notable Spanish poets, a Castilian author of the so-called pre-Renaissance. He belonged to the important Casa Manrique de Lara.

Manrique was also a prominent military man. He was author of Verses on the death of his fatheran elegiac poem that became one of the classic poems of Spanish literature of all times.

Biography of Jorge Manrique

Birth and early years

Jorge Manrique, fourth of seven children of the noble and powerful Manrique de Lara family, was the son of Don Rodrigo Manrique (1406-1476), first Count of Paredes de Nava, and Doña Mencía de Figueroa (1400-1444), second cousin. of Don Rodrigo.

There are no known data that accurately determine the date or place of his birth. It is estimated that he could have been born in Paredes de Nava, in the province of Palencia, or in Segura de la Sierra, in the province of Jaén, since his father had his main ranch there at that time.

The date of birth could be between 1437 and 1440.

cradle nobility

The Manrique de Lara family was very powerful, and one of the oldest in Spain. He held the duchy of Nájera, the county of Treviño and the marquisate of Aguilar del Campoo, among other noble titles.

Manrique ended up possessing, among other titles, the lord of Belmontejo de la Sierra, thirteen of Santiago, captain of the men-at-arms of Castilla, commander of the castle of Montizón and duke of Montalvo, to name a few.

military importance

There is no data on the youth of Jorge Manrique, but it is known of his participation, when he was 24 years old, in the fight against the sieges of the castle of Montizón, of which he would end up being commander. His was the motto: «I neither lie nor regret it.»

After this victory, he participated in another campaign: to advance militarily in the city of Baeza to support the Benavides and go against Count Cabra and the Mariscal de Baena.

However, he was taken captive and spent some time in a prison in Baena.

Participation in the War of the Castilian Succession

Jorge Manrique was released from prison and continued to participate in the battles. This time he went with his father, Rodrigo, in what would be one of the most important wars in Spain: the War of the Castilian Succession (1475-1479), which allowed the establishment of the reign of the Catholic Monarchs.

There were several reasons that led to this war. On the one hand, there was a rumor that the wife of King Henry IV, Juana of Portugal, had a daughter out of wedlock with Beltrán de la Cueva. On the other hand, the legitimate daughter of the king, Isabel I, and already proclaimed legitimate heir, could not marry without the prior consent of her father.

It happened that Isabel violated the Treaty of the Bulls of Guisando, secretly marrying Fernando de Aragón.

Angered, his father proclaimed his illegitimate daughter, Juana de Trastámara, «la Beltraneja» (alluding to Beltrán, her real father), successor to the throne. This unleashed the palace intrigues and then the war.

Support for the Catholic Monarchs

At this point, Don Rodrigo and his son Jorge, both members of the Order of Santiago, decided to ally their powerful house to Isabel I and Fernando de Aragón.

This fact ended up tilting the balance in favor of the succession of the future Catholic Monarchs.

Death and alleged versions of what happened

Jorge Manrique died in 1479, in combat, during the War of the Castilian Succession. There are two versions of this event.

The first version tells that after going to Ciudad Real to lift the siege that the Marquis of Villena had on Uclés, he was mortally wounded in a battle near the castle of Garcimuñoz, in Cuenca.

The second version, after the events, tells that he was wounded in his camp in Santa María del Campo Rus, a few days after the battle.

The war ended a few months later. Jorge Manrique died only 2 and a half years after his father, who died in 1467 of cancer that totally disfigured his face.

The support of the noble and powerful Manrique de Lara family was crucial for the Elizabethan victory, whose reign ended up placing the country among the most powerful kingdoms in the world thanks to two reasons: the marriage with Fernando de Aragón, who unified Spain, and the expedition colonizer.

The poetry of Jorge Manrique

Being born of noble birth, and particularly in the family that touched him Luckily, it allowed Manrique to balance between sword and pen. Although during his lifetime he was better known in the military field, his poetic production was not for this reason, which, although brief, ceases to be admirable.

It is also important to take into account the education in the humanities that, like all soldiers of the time, he received. This preparation greatly influenced his poetry.

The poet came from blood. Suffice it to mention his uncle Gómez Manrique, soldier and great poet, and Íñigo López de Mendoza, known as the Marqués de Santillana, also of his lineage.

His poetry was the cornerstone for the entry of the new pre-Renaissance style into Spanish literature.

Characteristics of his poetry

the search for the simple

The purification of the complex metaphors typical of previous chivalric and troubadour writing. It could be due to a certain elite taste typical of the nobility, as well as the distance from all scholarly or rhetorical words.

recurring love themes

In the almost fifty works that he composed, most touch on the theme of courtly love.

War references to treat love

Love as war and conflict.

brevity in forms

Love poems, for example, are rather brief. Even the strophic form is also brief: minor art verses: broken foot sextiles (8a-8b-4c-8a-8b-4c) with consonant rhyme.

The use of the scatter

Which is nothing more than briefly and artistically writing some idea.

sobriety in style

It can be seen in his only elegy, written in memory of his father. There, the seriousness of the subject is approached in a very eloquent way and with new perspectives (in addition to the usual mundane or religious ones typical of the Middle Ages).

Humor in everyday things

Manrique wrote some satires in which the surprising, the ironic and the common come together to achieve humor. Thus, he compares a nun to a drunk in one of his satires, or holds a banquet of ugliness in honor of his stepmother.

Works by Jorge Manrique

We will make a list with the couplets, satires and love songs of Jorge Manrique:

love poems

– “Of Don Jorge Manrique complaining about the God of love and how they reason with each other”.

– “Castle of love”.

– “Fortune”.

– “Because while he was sleeping his friend kissed him”.

– “Saying what is love”.

– “Of the profession he made in the Order of Love”.

– “Scale of love”, “With the great evil that I have left over”.

– “In a deadly sore.”

– “Remember, for God’s sake, lady”.

– “See how distressing mine is”.

– “He doesn’t even want me to live”.

– “The fires that were kindled in me”.

– “While she was absent from her friend, she sent a messenger there”.

– “Memorial that he made to his heart, which leaves unknown to his friend where he has all his senses”.

– “Others of his in which he puts the name of a lady”.

– “Another work of his in which he put the name of his wife, and also named the lineages of the four sides of her, which are: Castañeda, Ayala, Silva and Meneses”.


– “Whoever was not present”.

– “I don’t know why I get tired”.

– “Who wants to see you so much”.

– “It is a hidden death.”

– “For your great merit”.

– “With sore care”.

– “The more I plan to serve you”.

– “Just was my downfall”.

– “Every time my memory”.

– “Don’t be late, Death, I’m dying”.


– “I find that no power”.

– “I silenced evils suffering”.

– “Thinking, madam, of you”.

– “I kept silent because of a lot of fear”.

– “What an unfortunate lover”.

– “My fear has been such”.

– “It is my pity to wish”.


– “To his nickname that says: ‘I neither lie nor regret’”.

– “Always love and love to follow”.

– “Without God and without you and me”.


– “Don Jorge Manrique took out a waterwheel with its arcaducues full”.


– “To Juan Álvarez Gato”.

– “Between two fires thrown”.

– “Between well and badly dubbed”.

– “To Guevara”.


– “To Guevara”.

– “To Gómez Manrique”.


– “To a cousin of hers who was getting in the way of some love affairs”.

– “Coplas to a drunken woman who had pawned a brial in the tavern”.

– “A treat that he made to his stepmother, Mrs. Elvira de Castañeda”.

Elegies and works of doctrine

– “Coplas to the death of his father”.

– “Oh, world! Well, you kill us.»

last work

Regarding Jorge Manrique’s last work, there is no certainty as to when he wrote it, since the details of his death are, in themselves, confusing.

It is not known if the verses that appeared on his clothes were written while he was dying, or a few days after he was wounded in battle:

“Oh world! Well, you kill us

was the life you gave

all life

but as you treat us here

the best and less sad

It’s the game.»

Importance and transcendence

If we can highlight Jorge Manrique in something, it is in the fact that both his sword and his pen served as the trigger for something totally new.

With the sword he helped the coronation of the Catholic Monarchs, and with the pen, the arrival of the pre-renaissance.


Jorge Manrique (undated). (n/a): Wikipedia. Retrieved from: es.wikipedia.org
Jorge Manrique (undated). (n/a): Biographies and lives. Recovered from: biografiasyvidas.com
Harlan, C. (2017). «Jorge Manrique, poet and soldier of the fifteenth century». Retrieved from: aboutespañol.com
Curtain, A. (s/f). Complete works/Jorge Manrique. Retrieved from: cervantesvirtual.com
Jorge Manrique (2017). (n/a): “’Coplas a la muerte de la padre de él’ by Jorge Manrique”. Recovered from: zendalibros.com

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