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By Margaret Wilson, R. B. Tate, G. Ribbans and H. Lester (Auth.)

ISBN-10: 008013954X

ISBN-13: 9780080139548

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Though husbands, documents 4 f r o m o t h e r p a r t s of S p a i n tell t h e s a m e s t o r y . I t is n o t s u r p r i s i n g t h a t t h e comedia, m a t u r i n g i n s u c h a n a t m o s p h e r e , s h o u l d d r a m a t i c c a p i t a l o u t of a s i t u a t i o n w h i c h w a s f a m i l i a r 2 in make real See also Julian Pitt-Rivers, " H o n o u r and Social Status", in Honour and Shame. The Values of Mediterranean Society, ed. J . G. Peristiany (London, 1965). Pitt-Rivers describes attitudes very similar to those of Golden A g e drama still held in an Andalusian village today.

F e m i n i n e b e a u t y is u s u a l l y d e s c r i b e d i n e x t r e m e l y c o n v e n t i o n a l m e t a p h o r s — t h e l a d y ' s c h e e k s a r e roses, h e r eyes s u n s , s h e h a s THE COMEDIA 43 lips of c o r a l a n d p e a r l s for t e e t h — b u t t h e r e is n e v e r a n y d o u b t t h a t it is b e a u t y i n w o m e n , a n d t h e c o r r e s p o n d i n g p h y s i c a l qualities in m e n , w h i c h inspire love. M o r e m a r k e d even t h a n the c o n t r a s t w i t h S h a k e s p e a r e is t h a t w i t h F r e n c h classical d r a m a , i n w h i c h p e r s o n a l a p p e a r a n c e is n e v e r m e n t i o n e d , a n d t h e c h a r a c t e r s s e e m t o b e t h o u g h t of s i m p l y a s p e r s o n a l i t i e s , w i t h n o bodies a t all.

THE COMEDIA 45 B e c a u s e of t h e s o c i a l b a s i s of t h e c o d e , t h e fact t h a t a m a n w a s k n o w n t o h a v e lost h i s h o n o u r w a s w o r s e t h a n t h e loss itself. T h e e n o r m i t y of a n a f f r o n t a c t u a l l y i n c r e a s e d i n p r o p o r t i o n w i t h t h e n u m b e r of p e o p l e w h o k n e w a b o u t i t ; a p p e a r a n c e s w e r e w h a t m a t t e r e d most. H e n c e the principle " a secreto agravio secreta v e n g a n z a " ("secret d i s h o n o u r d e m a n d s secret v e n g e a n c e " ) : w h e n t h e i n s u l t w a s n o t p u b l i c t h e r e v e n g e s h o u l d also b e k e p t s e c r e t , so as n o t t o p r o c l a i m t h e o r i g i n a l loss of h o n o u r .

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Spanish Drama of the Golden Age by Margaret Wilson, R. B. Tate, G. Ribbans and H. Lester (Auth.)


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