Juan Antonio Correa's La pérdida y restauración de Bahía de Todos los Santos, written primarily to celebrate the successful recapture in 1625 of an important American colony from the Dutch and their allies, invites an investigation into why and how human beings can be motivated to support people and institutions that not only do not directly benefit them but may in fact operate in ways that are unfavourable to their own lives and causes. Informed by the political writings of Antonio Gramsci and Paulo Freire and the psychoanalytic theories of Jacques Lacan, this study explores the various reasons why the Portuguese, the Brazilian colonists, and even the voiceless ‘negros’ would choose to fight in support of the Spanish Empire, while, on the other hand, French and English, both Catholics and Protestants, would opt to aid the Dutch. By including two love triangles as subplots within the main action that dramatizes the loss and recovery of the Bahia, Brazil, Correa has produced not only an entertaining play but an insightful study into the ways that empires operate, employing direct military force as well as various personal incentives and societal inducements, in order to motivate the populations they have subjugated into acceptance of their subservient role and even into lending active support to the political powers that govern and control them.
Document Object Identifier (DOI)
Stroud, Matthew D. “Imperial Incentives and Individual Allegiances in Juan Antonio Correa’s La pérdida y restauración de Bahía de Todos los Santos. Bulletin of Spanish Studies (2015): n. pag.
Bulletin of Spanish Studies