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Feminism and the honor plays of Lope de Vega

Author: Yvonne Yarbro-Bejarano
Publisher: West Lafayette, Ind. : Purdue University Press, ©1994.
Series: Purdue studies in Romance literatures, v. 4.
Edition/Format:   Book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
Between 1585 and 1631 the Spanish playwright Lope de Vega wrote numerous plays dealing with the theme of conjugal honor. Drawing on recent feminist theories and touching on literary, social, and anthropological aspects Yvonne Yarbro-Bejarano demonstrates that hierarchical relations of gender race and social status mutually inform one another as structuring principles of these plays.
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Named Person: Lope de Vega; Lope Félix de Vega Carpio
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Yvonne Yarbro-Bejarano
ISBN: 1557530440 9781557530448
OCLC Number: 29221389
Description: xiii, 324 p. ; 24 cm.
Contents: Ch. 1. The Contradictory Constructs of Gender. The Construction of "Woman" Woman as "Wife" Containment and Resistance. The Construction of "Man" Masculinity and Honor. Power and the Performance of Masculinity --
Ch. 2. Sexual Outlaws. Profile of the Sexual Outlaw. The Spectacle of Punishment. The Persistence of Female Desire. Los embustes de Fabia --
Ch. 3. Secular Saints. The Double Bind. The Feminine Ideal as Self-negation. The Heroism of Powerlessness. The Body's Betrayal. La corona merecida --
Ch. 4. Duplicity and Disguise. Femininity Disguised. Cross-dressing and the Theater. The Unmarried Woman as Cross-dresser. The Containment of Homoeroticism. The "Double Movement" of Cross-dressing. The Cross-dresser as Soldier --
Ch. 5. Rivalry and the Struggle for Dominance. Violence as Redemption. Marital Mis-perceptions. The Rival's Trajectory --
Ch. 6. Mutuality and Submission. The Channeling of Homoeroticism. Tenuous Ties. The Rewards and Perils of Submission. The Constant Vassal. Ch. 7. "Race," Masculinity, and National Identity. The Representation of Blackness. Jewishness as Signifier. The Old Christian Peasant as Spanish Ideal. El cuerdo en su casa. El testimonio vengado --
Ch. 8. The Negotiation of Meaning. Reading the Feminine Ideal. Responses to the Female Outlaw. Mediating Male Homosocial Relations. The Pleasure of Gender Fluidity --
Appendix: English Translations.
Series Title: Purdue studies in Romance literatures, v. 4.
Responsibility: Yvonne Yarbro-Bejarano.
More information:

Abstract:

Between 1585 and 1631 the Spanish playwright Lope de Vega wrote numerous plays dealing with the theme of conjugal honor. Drawing on recent feminist theories and touching on literary, social, and anthropological aspects Yvonne 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.

. For the male character, a crisis of masculinity is provoked by the pressures of forging satisfying bonds with other men and performing a gender ideal that calls simultaneously for predation on, and protection of sexual property. Yarbro-Bejarano highlights his conflicted relationship with the symbolic father, as well as the texts obsessive representation of his loss of control, caused by the very codes that purport to secure it.

Yarbro-Bejarano's provocative conclusion 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 and of witnessing the predicaments of both male and female characters trapped by contradictory constructs of gender and sexuality, helps explain the popularity of this subgenre.

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