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El Consejo de los Dioses

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Ezekiel Galanto

on 27 October 2015

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Transcript of El Consejo de los Dioses

In 1880, when Jose Rizal was studying at the University of Santo Tomas (U.S.T.), he joined another literary contest .

Full-blooded Spaniards composed the Board of Judges. They judged each entry without first knowing the authors, since the contestants used pen names. From there, after reading all the entries, they proclaimed Rizal’s work as first prize.
Description from the Board of Judges
The Board of Judges also declared the winning allegory as follows:
“The idea and plot of the work are of great originality,
To which should be added the circumstance that throughout the same shine to the outmost a correct style,
An admirable richness of details,
Delicacy of thought and figures, and lastly
A taste so Hellenic that the reader imagines himself relishing some delicious passages of Homer which with such frequency the Olympic sessions describe to us in their works.”
El Consejo de los Dioses
El Consejo de Los Dioses (The Council of the Gods) is an allegorical play written in 1879 by our national hero Jose Rizal. It was first published in Liceo Artistico Literario de Manila review in 1880, latterly in La Solidaridad in 1883.
In December 1900 this was translated in Tagalog. This version was adapted into sarswela by Pascual H. Poblete and published in El Comercio de Filipinas.
The play won the first prize award in a 1880-1881 literary contest commemorating the death of Cervantes sponsored by the Liceo Artistico Literario de Manila.
This is considered as the most sensuous of Rizal's writings, reveals his magnificent showy side as hispanist and classicist.
For the first time in history, an Indio - a nineteen year old Filipino medical student at that - excelled in a national literary contest defeating several Spanish writers of his time in Manila.

Rizal was particularly happy, for he proved the fallacy of the alleged Spanish superiority over the Filipinos and revealed that the Filipinos could hold his own fair competition against all races.
The play exposes how an Asian teenager seizes the cultural elements of the Western humanistic tradition,overcoming not only its formalism, but at the same time laying the foundations for an effort toward self-knowledge.Depicting Olympian deities discussing Western literary standards, it becomes a reference text of literary criticism in the Philippines. Rizal further explores the true meaning of human desire for knowledge and designs the guidelines for a filipino speculative thought.
El Consejo de los Dioses
Jupiter, the Roman chief of the Gods, is planning to give three grandiose gifts (a golden lyre, trumpet, and a golden crown made of laurels) – crafted by Vulcan – to a mortal who did best in literature.

Juno, Jupiter’s wife, suggests Homer, the writer of “Iliad”. Meanwhile, Venus, thegoddess of beauty, recommends Virgil, author of “Aedes.”

On the other hand, Minerva (goddess of wisdom) goes for Cervantes, author of “Don Quixote.”

With this disagreement, the other gods were also supposed to fight but were stopped by Jupiter by allowing Justice (a goddess not found in the original Roman lineup yet introduced by Rizal in his allegory) to weigh the circumstances without any bias in her balance.

She weighed the “Aedes” with the “Iliad” and found them equal. The same goes with “Don Quixote.”

With this, Jupiter decided to give the lyre to Virgil, the trumpet to Homer, and the laurels to Cervantes.
Full transcript