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Family Matters

A Study of On- and Off-Stage Marriage and Family Relations in Seventeenth-Century Spain

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Darci L. Strother

This socio-historical study of Spain's Golden Age examines its marriage practices and family structure, as represented in the theatrical works of the day, and as experienced by members of seventeenth-century Spanish society. Women's roles receive particular attention, as Family Matters analyzes the relationship between actual family life and the (sometimes distorted) reflections portrayed on the Spanish stage. Topics such as consensual versus arranged marriages; alternatives to wedlock; child-rearing practices; and the importance of mothers in the family are discussed within the context of works by playwrights such as Calderón de la Barca, Ana Caro, Lope de Vega, Rojas Zorrilla, Ruiz de Alarcón, Vélez de Guevara, and María de Zayas.