The Comic Craft of Tirso de Molina

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  • 76-28,208

    HAUGHTON, Linda Elizabeth, 1940-THE COMIC CRAFT OF TIRSO DE MOLINA.

    The University of Arizona, Ph.D., 1976 Literature, Romance

    Xerox University Microfilms , Ann Arbor, Michigan 48106

    @ 1976

    LINDA ELIZABETH HAUGHTON

    ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

  • THE COMIC CRAFT OF TIRSO DE MOLINA

    by

    Linda Elizabeth Haughton

    A Dissertation Submitted to the Faculty of the

    DEPARTMENT OF ROMANCE LANGUAGES

    In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements For the Degree of

    DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY WITH A MAJOR IN SPANISH

    In the Graduate College

    THE UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA

    19 7 6

    Copyright 1976 Linda Elizabeth Haughton

  • THE UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA

    GRADUATE COLLEGE

    I hereby recommend that this dissertation prepared under my

    direction by Linda Elizabeth Haughton

    entitled The Comic Craft of Tirao de Molina

    be accepted as fulfilling the dissertation requirement of the

    degree of Doctor of Philosophy

    Dissertation Director Date

    After inspection of the final copy of the dissertation, the

    following members of the Final Examination Conmiittee concur in

    its approval and-secommend its acceptance:*

    /A

    rf

    This approval and acceptance is contingent on the candidate's

    adequate performance and defense of this dissertation at the final oral examination. The inclusion of this sheet bound into the library copy of the dissertation is evidence of satisfactory performance at the final examination.

  • STATEMENT BY AUTHOR

    This dissertation has been submitted in partial fulfillment of requirements for an advanced degree at The University of Arizona and is deposited in the University Library to be made available to borrowers under rules of the Library.

    Brief quotations from this dissertation are allowable without special permission, provided that accurate acknowledgment of source is made. Requests for permission for extended quotation from or reproduction of this manuscript in whole or in part may be granted by the copyright'holder.

    SIGNED:

  • ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

    I am grateful to the members of my committee for

    their kind assistance in every phase of the preparation of

    this dissertation. My sincere thanks to the following

    advisers who have shown great generosity of spirit in

    sharing their time and energies so willingly:

    Professor Robert ter Horst, for being a constant

    course of inspiration; for his erudition, patience, fine

    sense of humor, and grace; and for sharing his private

    library so generously.

    Professor H. Reynolds Stone, for his keen eye and

    many helpful suggestions; for graciously undertaking the

    laborious task of proofreading; and for his compassion and

    moral support. Professor Robert Bacalski, for his

    excellent recommendations throughout; for sharing his

    insights freely; for his friendship and support,

    I also wish to thank Miss Ruth Lee Kennedy for

    providing the opportunity to work for her and to learn from

    her during the preparation of her Studies in Tirso I. And

    for their love, friendship and much needed moral support I

    thank Mr. and Mrs. William Haughton, my parents; Mary

    Busalacchi-Bountalis; Mirene Hazebrouck; Dr. Anita Stafford;

    Susan and Ram6n Martinez; Mary Webb; Marilyn Green; Mr. and

    Mrs. Bernard Kerley; and Dr. William D. Sanders.

    iir

  • iv

    Finally, my thanks to Terry and Bill Clark for their

    professionalism and very capable hands.

  • TABLE OF CONTENTS

    Page

    ABSTRACT Vli

    CHAPTER

    1. INTRODUCTION: THE COMIC CRAFT OF TIRSO DE MOLINA 1

    2. TIRSO'S THEORY OF THE COMEDIA IN PRACTICE IN EL VERGONZOSO EN PALACIO 8

    The Defense of the Comedia Nueva in Los Cigarrales de Toledo 9

    The Defense of the Comedia in El Vergonzoso en Palacio . . . 14

    Plot of El Vergonzoso r , , , . 17 The Loa and Its Relationship to Play

    and Theory ........... 20 The Title: Aspects of Vergiienza 2 5 The Hunt as Dominant Metaphor of Act I . , . 28 Mireno/Dionis and the Quest for Self-

    Realization , 31 Seekers in the Palace; Don Antonio

    el Curioso 37 Concupiscencia and Vergiienza: Dona

    Madalena's Conflict 4 2 Serafina: The Quest for Knowledge Through Role-Playing 50

    The Art of El Vergonzoso en Palacio . . . . 5 7

    3. THE ART OF ENTERTAINMENT IN POR EL SOTANO Y EL TORNO: A STUDY OF THE PLAYWRIGHT AS SATIRIST 61

    The Plot of Por el S6tano y el Torno . . . . 6 3 Act I: The World Upside Down as

    Underlying Topos 66 Act II: Symmetry and Symbol en Torno al

    Torno , , 79 Act III: The S6tano as Unifying Symbol . . , 89 The Function of the Closing Formula of

    Por el S6tano y el Torno 99

    v

  • vi

    TABLE OF CONTENTSContinued

    Page

    4. THE ART OF ENREDO IN DON GIL DE LAS CALZAS VERDES: A STUDY OF THE PROTAGONIST AS MYTH-MAKER 103

    The Title and Its Relation to the Myth of Don Gil , . . . 107

    Act I: The Creation of Don Gil 113 Act II: Don Gil, Dona Elvira and the

    Well-Crafted Fiction 121 Act III: The "Spiritualization" of

    Don Gil , 127 The Uniqueness of Don Gil de las Calzas

    V e r d e s . . . . . . . . , 1 3 4

    5. THE ART OF ORDER RESTORED IN EL AMOR MEDICO; A STUDY OF KNOWLEDGE AT THE SERVICE OF LOVE . 138

    The Plot of El Amor Medico 140 The Title of El Amor Medico 142 Symbolic Illness in El Amor Medico 14 6 Vision, the Path to Knowledge and

    Well-Being . , . 15 9 Modes of Translation in El Amor Medico , , , 169 The Triumph of Androgyny in El Amor

    Medico , , 177 The Uniqueness of El Amor Medico 182

    6. CONCLUSION: TRANSCENDENCE AS THE ESSENCE OF TIRSO'S COMIC CRAFT ... 186

    REFERENCES 204

  • ABSTRACT

    Most of the critical attention to the theater of

    Tirso de Molina has centered upon the acknowledged master

    piece El burlador de Sevilla, while relatively little is

    known of many of the dramatist's other plays. The purpose

    of this study is to examine a representative group of

    Tirso's secular comedias as self-contained works of art

    which reveal diverse aspects of this playwright's awareness

    and mastery of his craft. The term "craft" is used

    throughout the dissertation in the sense of "artifice" or

    ingenious contrivance.

    The introduction contains a short discussion of

    recent Tirsian scholarship; a statement of purpose; and an

    explanation of procedure. The body of the dissertation is

    composed of four essays which focus upon outstanding aspects

    of Tirso's comedic craftsmanship. These chapters include:

    "Tirso's Theory of the cornedla in practice in El vergonzoso

    en palacio"; "The Art of Entertainment in Por el s6tano y

    el torno: A Study of the Playwright as Satirist"; "The Art

    of enredo in Don Gil de las calzas verdes: A Study of the

    Protagonist as Myth-Maker"; and "The Art of Order Restored

    in El amor medico: A Study of Knowledge at the Service of

    Love,"

    vii

  • Vlll

    Each of the four essays departs from a descriptive

    base and progresses to a detailed analysis of verbal and

    visual symbolism; theme and supporting motifs; structure;

    and character analysis. In the chapters dedicated to Por

    el s6tano y el torno and Don Gil de las calzas verdes, the

    analysis follows along the lines of the development of the

    acts. In the essays which treat El vergonzoso en palacio

    and El amor midico, this linear organization is replaced by

    a more synthetic approach upon dominant metaphors and

    motifs.

    Although the plays examined in this study are

    autonomous, they share certain characteristics which are

    discussed in the concluding chapter. These characteristics

    include an emphasis on the transcendent power of incjenio,

    which overcomes all obstacles in order to restore harmony

    to the imbalanced world of the play; an equal emphasis on

    the related concept of discreci6n in the sense of knowledge

    and wisdom; the reconciliation of the dualism of discreci6n

    and necedad through the actions of ingenious characters and

    with the aid of intermediary devices or traslados; and

    finally, the playwright's awareness of the transcendence

    of intellect and Art as revealed through the creation of

    androgynous female protagonists who surpass their normal

    boundaries in order to attain superior levels of existence.

    This transcendence reflects Tirso's awareness of his own

    challenge to create new and superior works out of the "raw

  • XX

    materials" offered by nature, while working within the

    containing structure of the comedia form and also with the

    moral limits of decency or licitud. The essence of

    Tirso's comic craft is revealed in his concern with the

    surpassing of limitations whose transcendence reflects

    worldly progression toward the divine.

  • CHAPTER 1

    INTRODUCTION: THE COMIC CRAFT OF TIRSO DE MOLINA

    In the past five years two major contributions to

    the study of the theater of Tirso de Molina have come to

    light. The first work in chronological order is L'univers

    dramatique de Tirso de Molina by Serge Maurel (1971);"'" the

    second is Miss Ruth Lee Kennedy's Studies in Tirso I: The

    Dramatist and his Competitors 1620-1626 (1974).2 A brief

    discussion of these significant offerings to Tirsian

    scholarship follows below.

    L'univers dramatique de Tirso de Molina is a

    compendious work which represents an attempt to unify the

    various parts of Tirso's comedic world and reveal their

    singularity of purpose. Maurel begins this study with an

    account of the source materials for Tllez' theater: these

    include the Bible; lives of Saints; history; contemporary

    events and daily life; and "fantasy."

    The remainder of L'univers dramatique is devoted

    to a reordering of Tirso's known works in such a fashion as

    1. Serge Maurel, L'univers dramatique de Tirso de Molina (Poitiers: Publications de l'Universite de Poitiers, 1971).

    2. Ruth Lee Kennedy, Studies in Tirso I: The Dramatist and his Competitors 1620-1626 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Studies in Romance Languages and Literatures, 1974).

    1

  • 2

    to reveal the lack of a clear division between the sacred

    and the profane. The author treats this question in two

    lengthy sections entitled "L'ici-bas et lfau-dla confundus"

    and "L1Edification dans l'univers de fantaisie." He con

    cludes that Tirso's plays reflect a consistent commitraent to

    the Christian order, which is "... l'unitg de propos qui

    3 r6git ce theatre." This conclusion is further supported

    in the appendix, which contains a discussion of El burlador

    de Sevilla and El condenado por desconfiado.

    L'univers dramatique de Tirso de Molina is the most

    exhaustive study of the playwright's work to date, and

    merits recognition as the first attempt at a thorough

    synthetic study. The main interest lies in what one

    reviewer describes as . . the desire to clarify beyond

    traditional classifications, the inner unity of a seemingly

    4 disjointed body of work." The same writer observes that

    this kind of "thesis" "... seems marked out to give a new

    5 impetus to Tirsian studies , . . ."

    Miss Kennedy's Studies in Tirso I is the first

    volume of a series whose second book will deal with the

    Mercedarian's political plays and the third, with his

    3. Maurel, pp. 499-500.

    4. Jean Canavaggio, Review in Hispanic Review 42 (1974), p. 347.

    5. Ibid.

  • 3

    g relations to other literary schools and personalities. In

    volume I, the foremost Tirsian scholar focuses on the

    playwright's relations with other dramatists during the

    period 1620^1626, which coincided with the early years of

    the reign of Phillip IV and the rise to power of the Conde-

    Duque de Olivares. This period was one of social and

    economic crises, with consequent call for reform on the part

    of high-minded critics, but little action on the part Qf the

    indolent king. Despite numerous grave problems, Madrid

    attracted many writers who came seeking favor at court and

    material reward.

    Against this background Miss Kennedy describes

    Tirso's turbulent relations with such contemporary drama

    tists as Antonio Hurtado de Mendoza, whom she believes to

    7 have denounced Tllez to the Junta de Reformaci6n in 1625;

    0 Lope, with whom Tirso had a fluctuating relationship; Luis

    Vlez de Guevara, whom the author believes to be the poeta

    9 corpulento satirized by Tirso in certain plays; and Juan

    6. Kennedy, Studies I, p. 13.

    7. Ibid., pp, 86-92.

    8. Ibid., pp. 151-187, "Tirso's Relations to Lope and his Theatre Reappraised."

    9. Ibid., "Tirso and the 'Corpulent' Poet," pp. 247-265,

  • 4

    Ruiz de Alarc6n, whom Tirso seems to have satirized from

    1620 to 1625-26.10

    From Miss Kennedy's meticulous scholarship there

    emerges a portrait of the playwright as a frequent victim

    of envidia and necedad on the part of his rivals, whom Tirso

    satirizes through allusions in many of his plays. Studies

    in Tirso I places Tillez' dramatic production in a literary-^

    historical perspective which reflects thirty years of

    research and assessment. All students of Tirso's theater

    are greatly indebted to Miss Kennedy for sharing her

    profound knowledge and frequently illuminating intuitions

    in this exemplary scholarly work.

    The most recent work of Tirsian criticism is The

    Comic Art of Tirso de Molina (1975) by David H. Darst.11

    This study deals with the interplay of Art and Nature in

    seven dramas which include: Esto si que es negociar; El

    melanc61ico; Do...