El rey Sebastián en las elegías de Fernando de Herrera y Barahona de Soto
The untimely death of King Sebastian I of Portugal was an event of dramatic consequences for the entire Iberian Peninsula. While Portuguese writers betted on a surprising and unexpected comeback of their last king, Spanish literates aimed to protect the fragile union of the two crowns that had taken place. In poetry especially they celebrated Sebastian’s memory, reminding the readers how he had died a heroic death, so that no usurper was allowed to claim the throne from its rightful owner, King Philip, who was to create a dynasty that would eventually avenge his nephew. This wish created an intertextual link between the two elegies of Fernando de Herrera and Barahona de Soto, which both applied similar textual strategies and metaphors. Moreover, some crucial changes to the psychological profile of the new, fictional king were made to better serve the cause of unification.