Feminism and the Honor Plays of Lope de Vega (Purdue Studies in Romance Literatures #4) (Hardcover)
Between 1585 and 1631, the Spanish playwright Lope de Vega wrote more than forty-five plays dealing with the theme of conjugal honor. Drawing on recent feminist theories and touching on literary, social, and anthropological aspects, Professor Yarbro-Bejarano demonstrates that hierarchical relations of gender, race, and social status mutually inform one another as structuring principles of these plays. She takes into account plays that reveal their conventional, formulaic views of the Christian feminine ideal as well as those whose variety and flexibility present women subverting their expected roles. By identifying moments of resistance and subversion in the texts, the author argues against excessively monolithic interpretations of such discourses of containment. Yarbro-Bejarano's provocative study explores the ways in which the plays' production and consumption conform to the author's role as cultural mediator and to the audience's potential for multiple and contestatory responses. The pleasure of such negotiations, together with that of witnessing the predicaments of both male and female subjects trapped by contradictory constructs of gender and sexuality, helps explain the popularity of this sub-genre.