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There is an ever growing body of criticism noting the homosocial underpinnings of comedia society in which women serve primarily to cement the relationships among men. Barbara Simerka, Harry Vélez de Quiñones, and others have convincingly begun to establish the homosocial nature of the stage society in which women, often as objects given signification only when they acquire exchange value, frequently have little say in their marriages or in other important aspects of their lives. The dama, to borrow a definition from Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, is a character who takes her "shape and meaning from a sexuality of which she is not the subject but the object" (8). In Luis Vélez de Guevara's La serrana de Ia Vera, Garganta la Olla, the home of Gila, the protagonist, is most definitely a man's world. Except perhaps for Queen Isabel, women, including Gila, are intended to be supportive of men but not to take a commanding role. Most importantly, all women, this time including both Gila and Queen Isabel, are expected to get married. Marriage is a primary means by which a woman's place in society is established.


Penn State University Press

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