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Poet or Pimp? Theatricality and Sex Crimes in Lope de Vega and Cervantes


Poet or Pimp? Theatricality and Sex Crimes in Lope de Vega and Cervantes

Nelson, Bradley J. (2015) Poet or Pimp? Theatricality and Sex Crimes in Lope de Vega and Cervantes. eHumanista: Journal of Iberian Studies, 4 . pp. 178-195. ISSN 1540 5877

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The goal of this paper is to compare and contrast Lope’s play Peribáñez y el Comendador de Ocaña with the various erotic intrigues that take place at the ducal palace in Cervantes’s Don Quixote II. The goal are to (1) analyze the authors’ differing aesthetic and social approaches to criminal sexual violence; and (2) further illuminate the socio-aesthetic context surrounding the antagonism between the two authors. My claim is that where Lope frames the potential sexual violence and theatrical chaos set in motion by the Comendador as the work a deceitful, heretical, and dishonorable aberration/abomination, who needs to be eliminated so that an inherently just and natural society can function as God intended, Cervantes locates the source of sexual violence in the hierarchical power structure of the aristocracy per se as well as its use of theatrical spectacles to simultaneously entertain and legitimize their political privilege and economic superiority. In other words, for Cervantes, the image of terror that is brought to the stage in a figure like Lope’s don Fadrique is not external to the monarchical-seigniorial apparatuses of social and political containment, as Lope would have it, but is rather a product of its hierarchical structure. As a result, Cervantes’s theatrical representation of sexual violence unveils the false ideological promises of Lope’s peasant plays as an analogy of the false promises of wealthy and aristocratic knaves to the victims of their sexual predation.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Classics, Modern Languages and Linguistics
Item Type:Article
Authors:Nelson, Bradley J.
Journal or Publication:eHumanista: Journal of Iberian Studies
ID Code:980906
Deposited On:02 Mar 2016 19:47
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:52
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