Biographical Emulation of Dante in Mena's Laberinto de Fortuna and Coplas de los siete pecados mortales
Rather than borrow simple words or motifs from Dante's Commedia as Imperial and Santillana did, Juan de Mena decided to emulate the figure of the Italian in his public presentation. Direct reference to Dante are nearly absent in Mena's works, but the similarities between Dante's Iberian reputation and Mena's cultivated persona are striking. Mena crafted his image as an Iberian Dante by undertaking literary projects that defined erudition for his community, redefined the role of that community in a new cosmogony, and offered Mena himself as the interpreter of that cosmogony. This essay examines Mena's Laberinto de Fortuna and Coplas de los sieta pecados mortales in order to explain the role of Dante in Mena's cultural agenda.