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Calisto, the young and gallant man of noble blood, sets the plot in motion when he falls desperately in love with Melibea. His response to rejection is overly melodramatic and excessive and is used by the author to satirize the trope of medieval courtly love, which was becoming outmoded by the fifteenth century in favor of more earthly, humanized characters. The author pokes fun at Calisto’s despair, hinting at the possibility that Calisto is not just upset that he can’t acquire the object of his affection, Melibea, but that her rejection has dented his ego a bit. Pármeno bemoans Calisto’s naivete, which is clearly on view during the entire novel.
Calisto naively believes that his servants are truly concerned for his welfare over their own, a belief shown to be false several times, including when Sempronio and Pármeno run away to protect themselves at Melibea’s house and leave Calisto in the lurch. Because of his sheltered existence and lack of experience in the real world, Calisto becomes an easy target for Sempronio and Celestina, who have had to resort to scheming and manipulation to get by. Above all, Calisto is selfish and preoccupied with only his desires. When Melibea begs him to save her from losing her reputation, he bowls her over haphazardly and forces his will on her to satisfy his sexual desire. Calisto’s end arguably draws less sympathy than the others’ since he’s only out for himself, a clear comment by the author on the self-centeredness of the upper classes in the fifteenth century.