Towards an occult didacticism : Don Juan Manuel’s doctrine of the occult in the Conde Lucanor.


This investigation examines the use of the occult in four exemplary tales of the Conde Lucanor, by the nobleman and infante, Don Juan Manuel. Through a close reading of the text, the thesis more specifically analyzes the didactic use of these references to the occult and magic, ultimately coming to the conclusion that the utilization of occult references by the author manifests an ambivalence towards the magical arts. While some tales present a clear condemnation of the dark arts, others implicitly approve their use. Based on theological, philosophical, and juridical writings of the times, this thesis argues that this moral and philosophical uncertainty towards the occult reflects the historical confusion present in the Middle Ages regarding the occult, superstition, and magical practices.