Conscience on Stage: The Comedia as Casuistry in Early Modern Spain

Overview

It is no accident that some variation of the question 'What should I do?' appears in over three-quarters of the comedic plays of the Spanish Golden Age. Casuistical dialogue was a concern, even an obsession, of Spanish playwrights during the seventeenth century, many of whom were educated by Jesuit casuists. Conscience on Stage is a study of casuistry or case morality as the foundation for a poetics of seventeenth-century Spanish comedias.

Hilaire Kallendorf examines the Jesuit ...

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Overview

It is no accident that some variation of the question 'What should I do?' appears in over three-quarters of the comedic plays of the Spanish Golden Age. Casuistical dialogue was a concern, even an obsession, of Spanish playwrights during the seventeenth century, many of whom were educated by Jesuit casuists. Conscience on Stage is a study of casuistry or case morality as the foundation for a poetics of seventeenth-century Spanish comedias.

Hilaire Kallendorf examines the Jesuit upbringing and casuistical education of major playwrights of the Spanish Golden Age, many of whom were also priests, and introduces the vocabulary of casuistry, as expressed in both confessors' manuals and in stage plays. Engaging issues of class, gender, and age to explore scenes of advice-giving and receiving, she demonstrates how the culture-specific construct of 'conscience' in early modern Spain can be recovered by means of a Foucauldian genealogy, which enlists the skills of philology at the service of a larger vision of the history of ideas. This study outlines and reiterates the relationship of theatre to casuistry, the Jesuit contributions to Spanish literary theory and practice, and the importance of casuistry for the study of early modern subjectivity.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802092298
  • Publisher: University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division
  • Publication date: 6/4/2007
  • Series: University of Toronto Romance Series
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 6.27 (w) x 9.33 (h) x 0.99 (d)

Meet the Author

Hilaire Kallendorf is an associate professor in the Department of Hispanic Studies and the Religious Studies Program at Texas A&M University.
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Table of Contents


Acknowledgments     ix
Introduction: The Rise of Casuistry in Spain, the Flowering of Jesuit School Drama, and the Jesuit Education of Spanish Playwrights     3
Renaissance European Casuistry and Its Manifestations in Spain     5
Jesuit School Drama     11
Mainstream Dramatists Educated by Jesuits     22
Casuistry in Action on the Jesuit School Stage     27
The Vocabulary of Casuistry     38
Casos and Case Morality     42
Hypothetical Scenarios     51
'To Flee the Occasion of Sin'     52
Competing Obligations     57
'What should I do?'     64
Questions of Strategy     66
Moral Dilemmas and Conflicting Duties     70
Hierarchies of Virtue and Vice     81
Comedias and Confessional Manuals     85
The Double Bind     92
The Casuistical Dramatic Monologue and Tragedy     104
Asking for Advice: Class, Gender, and the Supernatural     108
Rulers and Subjects, Masters and Servants     113
Wave Imagery, Blindness, and Labyrinths     118
Soliloquies and Supernatural Entities     123
The Gendering of Casuistry     127
Are Men or Women More Casuistical?     128
Constructions of Conscience     143
The Conscience, in Action and Acted Upon     147
Descriptions of Clear and Troubled Consciences     159
Conscience's Auxiliaries     167
Synonyms and Antonyms for Conscience     172
'Symptoms' or Physical Manifestations of Conscience     174
Casuistry and Theory     180
Genealogies of Conscience     180
The Relationship of Theatre to Casuistry     181
The Jesuit Contribution to Spanish Literary Theory and Practice     183
Poetics of the Comedia in Early Modern Spain     186
Comedia or Quaestio?     191
Dilatio, Deferral, and Differance     192
'The Soul of Spain'     198
Appendix     203
Notes     207
Bibliography     243
Index     275
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