Teatro A Orillas Del Mar: Representaciones Literarias De Valencia A Fines Del Quinientos
This dissertation aims to articulate how textual representations of Valencia, with particular reference to selected texts of Lope de Vega: 1) contributes to a cohesive articulation of the storyline and the construction of characters peculiar to the historical context and materiality of late sixteenth century Valencia; and 2) denotes key aspects of the complex political relationship between Castile and Aragon as a direct consequence of the process of “castellanización”. Chapter 1 concentrates on the historical background of Valencia from the time it bame a Christian Kingdom (15th century) until the beginning of the seventeenth century. This aforementioned historical review delineates the main reasons behind Valencia's political and economic decline and enables the reader to fully grasp the City's role in Hapsburg Spain. In Chapter 2, Valencia's renowned mental asylum takes center stage in Lope de Vega's play Los locos de Valencia (1590-1592). It is argued that in Lope's comedia the hospital (a heterotopia of deviation) serves as an extended metaphor for the conflictive political relationship between Valencia and Castile. In the comedia, Valencia is represented as a political sanctuary making indirect reference to the infamous Antonio Pérez and his notorious runaway escapade through Aragon protected by the famous Fueros (“Charters”). Chapter 3 analyses literary representations of the festivities that took place in Valencia (1599) in celebration of the royal nuptials between Phillip III and Margaret of Austria. After careful analysis, it becomes clear that Phillip's privado -the duke of Lerma- used Valencia as a stage in order to consolidate his political power and wealth. Once the social masquerade ended, the City found itself submerged in a catastrophic economic crisis and even more dependent on Castile. Chapter 4 focuses on Lope de Vega's La viuda valenciana (1599) and how the literary reproduction of the Valencian urban space enables its main female character (Leonarda) to transgress social and gender roles. At a time when the City was conceptualized as a space of licentious behavior and sexual pleasures (in contrast to a more "rigid" Castile), the articulation of Leonarda can be interpreted as an extended metaphor for the historical context and materiality of Valencia.