|About the Book|
This interdisciplinary dissertation, integrating the fields of history, art and literature, examines the historical and cultural contexts surrounding a small sample of comedias in which the Virgin Mary is presented as a strong maternal figure and feminine role model in seventeenth-century Spanish theater. I focus in detail on three works: Lope de Vegas La limpieza no manchada (1618), Angela de Azevedos Dicha y desdicha en el juego o devocion a la Virgen (1640?) and Agustin Moretos and Pedro Laninis Santa Rosa del Peru (1669).-Chapter One, Cleaning with Virgin Power: Lopes La limpieza no manchada (Purity Unblemished) analyses the role of the University of Salamanca in endorsing Philip IIIs project of proclaiming as dogma the religious doctrine on the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary. This chapter weaves into the close reading the circumstances of its commission and performance, religious iconography, the burning theological debates surrounding the doctrine and the ideological interests implicated therein.-Chapter Two, The Immaculate Craftings of Angela de Azevedo: Writing about the Queen in Heaven for the Queen on Earth focuses on the how the iconography of the Immaculate Conception sheds light on the staging and ideological underpinnings of the drama as performed at Phillip IVs court theater. This drama presented the Virgin as a model of active feminine leadership and motherhood absent in male-authored drama. I propose that Mary served as a model of propriety and piety for the earthly queen, Isabel of Bourbon. Azevedo discreetly praised the Habsburg queen during her years of regency and brought to the surface the queens conflicts with the very influential Count-Duke of Olivares.-Chapter Three, Spanish Mother to an American Daughter: The Virgin Mary in Moretos and Laninis Santa Rosa del Peru analyzes how the Virgin Mary is used to authorize the beatification and canonization of the first American saint. Santa Rosa of Limas life and miracles are staged for a Spanish audience that accepts and understands the American saint as a source of Spanish pride and nostalgia.