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Contribution to Book

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María de Zayas's comedia, La traición en la amistad [Friendship betrayed], presents us with a truly stunning demonstration of intrigue and deception in the service of love. Based on the relationships among nine people, we have women who deceive men, men who deceive women, women who betray each others' friendships, servants who are quick to comment on the absurdity of all these machinations, and a final scene in which most of the principals get married. What distinguishes this play is the presence of the ninth character, Fenisa, who acts and reacts just as the other women do before the final scene but who is excluded from the happy ending. Her situation brings up a number of questions lying just beneath the surface of the play: Why is it so hard for people to get together with the ones they love? What is the relationship between love and intrigue on the one hand and love and marriage on the other? What is, after all is said and done, the goal of love? Sex? Marriage? Ego satisfaction? The answers to these questions are intimately related to the human condition that has been so provocatively studied by Jacques Lacan. IIi very different ways, Zayas's play and Lacan's psychoanalytic theories both serve to illuminate the basic nature of the human subject and its demands for love.


Amy R. Williamsen & Judith A. Whitenack


Farleigh Dickinson University Press





Publication Information

María de Zayas: The Dynamics of Discourse