Dons and Their Castles

On February 3, 2014 by tuckerj17

COCA-1In  The Siege of Urena Castle, Don Garcia is stuck in a terrible situation.  His keep has been under siege for seven years, his men are dying in droves, and their numbers have dwindled to the point that the dead have been propped up on the wall in order to give the illusion that the castle is still well manned.  Don Garcia, pacing the walls with weapons in hand, tosses the last loaf of bread for the entire castle down at the beleaguering forces.  The Moorish King sees this, and mistaking the act of desperation for an act of compassion, commands his men to break camp and leave the castle alone.

As with the defeated King in Don Rodrigo’s LamentThe Siege of Urena Castle depicts a Don at his lowest possible point.  His interaction with the Moors (and the fact that the Moors have beaten the Christians to the point where they had to retreat within their own walls) shows that the author does not depict the Moors to be less than human, and that they are capable of compassion and bravery just as the Christians are.