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Role-Play and the World as Stage in the Comedia

Overview

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 dramatize themselves, who re-invent themselves by performing new roles and inventing new plots within the larger frame of the play. The ...

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Overview

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 dramatize 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 criticize 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.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Thacker (Spanish, Merton College, Oxford, UK) uses Lionel Abel's concept of metatheatre, French feminism, and other aspects of current critical theory to illuminate his study of the relationship of theatre to life in Spanish plays of the Golden Age. The study, which was first produced as a doctoral thesis at the U. of Cambridge, examines plays by Tirso de Molina, Calder<'o>n, and Lope de Vega, finding they contain overlooked aspects of social commentary. Distributed in the US by ISBS. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements
List of Abbreviations
Foreword
Introduction: Role-Theory, Metatheatre, and the Reception of Drama
1. A Sense of Theater
—1. Patriarchy in Action: Guillén de Castro's La fuerza de la costumbre and the Distribution of Roles
—2. Patriarchal Excess and the Emergence of the Desiring Self
—3. Role-Play and the World as Stage in the comedia
2. Hiding at the Margins: Social Pressures and Escapist Role-Play
—1. Marta la piadosa
—2. Los locos de Valencia
3. A Strategy for Self-Expression: The Puppet-Mistress
—1. La dama duende
—2. La discreta enamorada
4. Exemplary Tragedy: The Social Riposte to Self-Expression
El duque de Viseo and La Estrella de Sevilla
Conclusions
Bibliography
Index

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