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Prismatic Reflections on Spanish Golden Age Theater

Essays in Honor of Matthew D. Stroud


Gwyn E. Campbell and Amy R. Williamsen

This volume, organized in five major sections, honors the myriad scholarly contributions of Matthew D. Stroud to the field of Early Modern Spanish theater. Building upon Stroud’s seminal studies, each section of essays simultaneously claims and wrestles with aspects of the rich legacy generated by his explorations. The essays included in this volume consider the moral, ethical, and legal backdrop of uxoricide, explorations of the meaningful intersections of psychoanalytic theory and the comedia, and engage the topics of women, gender, and identity. They also bridge the gap between dramatist and actors and between page and stage as they consider everything from the physical demands on Early Modern actresses to the twenty-first-century performance possibilities of comedias. Moreover, these essays incorporate studies that transcend temporal, spatial, political, and cultural limits, continuing to push at the edges of traditional scholarship characteristic of Stroud’s pioneering research. Both scholars and students will find this cohesive, compelling collection of interest across a wide spectrum of disciplines from theater history to performance studies, from philosophy to queer studies.
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Ovid, Gender, and the Potential for Tragedy in Don Gil de las calzas verdes


CHRISTOPHER WEIMER Oklahoma State University, Stillwater

Ovid’s Metamorphoses may well be the classical palimpsest most persistently visible to students of Early Modern Spanish theater. Not only are textual references to its myths a constant, the comedia as a genre would scarcely exist without a plethora of characters that conceal, reveal, discover, and recover their own true identities and those of others. The Metamorphoses likewise overflows with tales of identities lost and (re)gained, discarded and stolen, embraced and imposed; the categories which constitute identity repeatedly prove fluid and porous rather than fixed. Still more significantly, sexual desire serves as a frequent catalyst throughout Ovid’s encyclopedic catalogue of changes. Sexuality and even gender are unstable and often exert a destabilizing force. Similarly, Matthew Stroud notes regarding Early Modern Spanish theater with its innumerable erotic intrigues and masquerades, “The comedia raises the fears of sexual fluidity, of transgression, of perversion, of women usurping the power of men, of the traps of sexual expectation, of desire out of control” (Plot 83).

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