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Title page for ETD etd-07152013-093241


Type of Document Dissertation
Author Seagraves, Rosie Marie
Author's Email Address rosie.seagraves@gmail.com
URN etd-07152013-093241
Title She as He: Cross-Dressing, Theater, and "In-Betweens" in Early Modern Spain
Degree PhD
Department Spanish
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Dr. Edward H. Friedman Committee Chair
Keywords
  • Transvestism
  • Early Modern Literature
  • Spanish Golden Age Drama
  • Comedia
  • Cross-Dressing
Date of Defense 2013-05-06
Availability unrestricted
Abstract
Female cross-dressing was an extremely popular phenomenon of the Golden Age comedia, appearing in every major playwright’s repertoire. This dissertation argues that Spanish theater’s treatment of the female cross-dresser in the seventeenth century offers a paradigm for understanding the creative self-consciousness that made both early modern society theatrical and early modern art unique. I combine analysis of purely fictional cross-dressing protagonists with an examination of the theatrical discourse surrounding real-life gender-benders such as Eleno/a de Céspdes, Catalina de Erauso, Francisca Baltasara, and Queen Christina of Sweden. While Diego Velazquez’s Las meninas and Miguel de Cervantes’s Don Quijote serve as the prominent examples of seventeenth-century Spanish artistic self-reference in the areas of painting and narrative, respectively, I propose the female cross-dresser as symptomatic of a specifically theatrical self-consciousness that captivated public attention within and outside the theater.
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