Examine Machado's Use of Landscape and Countryside in Campos De Castilla

Examine Machado's Use of Landscape and Countryside in Campos De Castilla

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Machado's overriding theme is the exploration of his personal spirit and that of the Castilian people through landscape. The landscape can also reflect and inner psychology. It is clear from the title of this collection the importance of the Spanish landscape.

The National character relates to the Spain that exists in so much as it is able to be seen and touched. The very word `campos' in the volumes title is suggestive of this aspect of Machado's approach, since it calls to mind an existant, geographical feature to which one is able to relate. The entire work abounds with sensuous description and evocation of the geography and landscape of Spain created by the frequent employment of adjectives, most notably the use of sensory adjectives of sight, smell and touch. This is demonstrated in the opening verse from `Campos de Soria' (CXIII):

`Es la tierra de Soria árida y fría.

Por las Colinas y las sierras calvas,

Verdes pradillos, ceros cenicientos,

La primavera pasa

Dejando entre las hierbas olorosas

Sus duminutas margaritas blancas.'

This places the reader in recognisable landscape which is brought to life and to some extent made clearer to us by the use of powerful, though by no means overly literary adjectives. Machado is concerned with presenting a picture of the Spanish landscape which is both recognisable and powerful in evoking the simple joys which it represents. Furthermore, Machado relies on what Arthur Terry describes as an `interplay between reality and meditation' in his description of landscape. The existence of reality in the text is created by the use of geographical terms and the use of real names and places such as SOrai and the Duero, while the meditation is found in...


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...s poems publication. In `A un olmo seco', we discover references to the cemetery of Leonor's grave, and the beauty of new shoots set against the decay of the `olmo's' trunk, which evokes Machado's young wifr in her terminal condition. `A un olmo seco' is highlights the central theme of landscape and countryside, and through the physical description, Machado remembers his personal experience in Soria. The river Duero acts as a leitmotif for the cemetery where his wife was buried. In `Caminos' as Machado develops the theme of his displacement in Baeza, his mood is finally attributed to the loss of his wife. Landscape can be linked with inner emotional landscape. The landscape in this poem is ominous, violent and inflexible: "hendido por el rayo." Therefore, landscape acts as a way of revealing inner emotion and Spanish National character throughout the collection.

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