Women in Theatre: Romance, Honour and Murder

Ascent and Decline: Topics in Golden-Age Peninsular Literature and Culture

Expect murder, romance, magic and mayhem as we read some of the most outstanding theatrical plays of the Golden Age. Much of today’s drama, from Broadway musicals to intellectual farces, descends from a rich Hispanic theatrical tradition dating back to the Renaissance. In this course students will build their knowledge of Golden Age drama and performance from Spain and Latin America, while paying particular attention to the representation of female characters, artistic objects and private/public spaces in four thematic sections: 1) dramas of honor, 2) comedies of “capa y espada,” 3) masculine women on stage and 4) female playwrights. The course will incorporate cinematic adaptations of plays, videos featuring memorable staged performances, readings of historical texts and behavior manuals, as well as varied visual arts with which the plays were in dialogue. We will also take note of early modern literary criticism to discern how dramatists interacted with the social, economic, political and artistic concerns of their time within in their work. Primary readings will include texts from Lope de Vega, Calderón de la Barca, Tirso de Molina, Cervantes, Ana Caro de Mallén, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, and María de Zayas among others.

Required readings:

  • Lope de Vega, El arte nuevo de hacer comedias. Ed. Enrique García Santo-Tomás, Cátedra 2009.
  • Lope de Vega, El castigo sin venganza. Ed. Antonio Carreño. Madrid: Cátedra, 2009.
  • Lope de Vega, La dama boba. Ed. Diego Marín. Madrid: Cátedra, 2006.
  • Pedro Calderón de la Barca, La dama duende. Ed. Jesús Pérez Magallón. Madrid: Cátedra, 2011.
  • Additional required readings will be posted as pdfs on Canvas.

Recommended readings:

  • Ignacio Arellano, Historia del teatro español del siglo XVII. Madrid: Cátedra, 2008.
  • Ignacio Arellano and José Antonio Rodríguez Garrido, El teatro en la Hispanoamérica colonial. Madrid: Iberoamericana, 2008.
  • Cervantes, Teatro Completo. Florencia Sevilla Arroyo. Barcelona: Penguin Random House, 2016.
  • Francisco Ruiz Ramón, Historia del teatro español (desde sus orígenes hasta 1900). Madrid: Cátedra, 2011.
  • Malveena McKendrick, Theatre in Spain, 1490-1700. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1989.
  • Teresa Scott Soufas, Dramas of Distinction: Plays by Golden Age Women. Lexington: The U of Kentucky P, 1997.

Prerequisite: SPAN 221

Corequisite: SPAN 302

Language of instruction: Spanish

Course Registration