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Title:Funcionalidad del mito clasico en las fiestas cortesanas de Calderon
Author(s):Trambaioli, Marcella
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Porqueras-Mayo, Alberto
Department / Program:Spanish, Italian and Portuguese
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Literature, Romance
Abstract:This dissertation tries to understand why Calderon used so frequently Greek-Roman mythology in his court plays, instead of dramatizing other literary subjects. A detailed analysis of the reasons that determined such a choice has allowed us to study certain aspects of the plays quite omitted by critics. In general, myth provides Calderon with many advantages; first of all, a story to tell, to put into music and to represent with spectacular effects; secondly, a stratification of symbolic meanings and, finally, the possibility to play with allusive language. More specifically, it offers the ideal context of luxury to celebrate the kings who commissioned the plays, since it can refer to them at many different levels, in a constant game of mirrors that mixes the audience's reality with the fiction represented on the stage. At the same time, through mythography and emblematic tradition, it provides Calderon with an inventory of exemplary stories, ready to be used for didactic purposes. Without involving the historical background, as various critics have proposed, the playwright creates a sort of dramatic "empresa" which expresses in a coded way the moral and political precepts found in contemporary treatises such as that of Saavedra Fajardo.
From an aesthetic point: of view, ancient mythology is also extremely functional to the author's dramatic craftmanship. In particular, the present study analyzes his use of the words monstruo and centro, which appear with an obsessive frequency in don Pedro's works. With the monsters and its derivations the court writer is able to create images peculiarly baroque in their oddity and exuberance. Concerning the centro, the range of possibilities which the author plays with is also extremely various. This fact is very significant for an author who lives in a decentered cultural context. These three detailed forays into Calderon's mythological world allow us to verify that his occasional plays, far from being mere court entertainments, belong in every respect to his dramatic universe. At the same time, it makes possible to establish that if don Pedro's fiestas present a conjunctural dimension, this does not concern any contemporary event, but just refers to the sixteenth-century disenchantment. Classical myth represents for the poet an irreplaceable tool that perfectly serves his courtly obligations and the universality of his dramatic craftmanship.
Issue Date:1994
Rights Information:Copyright 1994 Trambaioli, Marcella
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9503338
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9503338

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