Contribution to Book
One of the most important products of the application of New Criticism to the comedia was the discovery of the functions of clusters of images to the dramatic and theatrical themes within a play. Among the most pervasive and subtle images and symbols are those involving hands and, by extension, arms, rings, gloves, and daggers. A quick, impressionistic overview of the connotations of hands reveals a number of different and often contradictory meanings: trust and treachery, power and submission, salvation and damnation, to mention only a few. So ubiquitous are hands, and so necessary are they to the plot complications in a number of plays that I would posit that only eyes are used more frequently to connect the poetic, theatrical, and symbolic threads that make up the fabric of a comedia.
University Press of America
Stroud, Matthew D. “Symbols, Referents, and Theatrical Semantics: The Use of Hands in the Comedia.” Texto y Espectáculo: Selected Proceedings of the Symposium on Spanish Golden Age Theater. March 11, 12, 13, 1987. Ed. Barbara Mujica. Lanham: UP of America, 1989. 25-34.
Texto y Espectáculo: Selected Proceedings of the Symposium on Spanish Golden Age Theater.