Role-Play and the World as Stage in the Comedia

BookRole-Play and the World as Stage in the Comedia

Role-Play and the World as Stage in the Comedia


April 1st, 2002

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The theatrum mundi metaphor was well-known in the Golden Age, and was often employed, notably by Calderón in his religious theatre. However, little account has been given of the everyday exploitation of the idea of the world as stage in the mainstream drama of the Golden Age. This study examines how and why playwrights of the period time and again created characters who dramatise themselves, who re-invent themselves by performing new roles and inventing new plots within the larger frame of the play. The prevalence of metatheatrical techniques among Golden Age dramatists, including Lope de Vega, Tirso de Molina, Calderón de la Barca and Guillén de Castro, reveals a fascination with role-playing and its implications. Thacker argues that in comedy, these playwrights saw role-playing as a means by which they could comment on and criticise the society in which they lived, and he reveals a drama far less supportive of the social status quo in Golden Age Spain than has been traditionally thought to be the case.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Section TitlePagePrice
Title Page3
List of Abbreviations10
Introduction: Role-Theory, Metatheatre, and the Reception of Drama17
1: A Sense of Theatre35
1: Patriarchy in Action: Guillén de Castro’s La fuerza de la costumbre and the Distribution of Roles35
2: Patriarchal Excess and the Emergence of the Desiring Self50
3 Role-Play and the World as Stage in the comedia64
2: Hiding at the Margins: Social Pressures and Escapist Role-Play82
1: Marta la piadosa84
2: Los locos de Valencia106
3: A Strategy for Self-Expression: The Puppet-Mistress123
1: La dama duende125
2: La discreta enamorada148
4: Exemplary Tragedy: The Social Riposte to Self-Expression161
El duque de Viseo and La Estrella de Sevilla175