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Objects Of Desire

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Chapter Summary

Juan de Mena, a fifteenth-century humanist, wrote a series of coplas on the seven mortal sins. The steadfast widow remained ever-wedded to the memory of her deceased spouse, but the lusty widow cast off the burden of mourning with sensual abandon. Golden Age authors created themes and scenarios that would resonate with the city dwellers that comprised the bulk of their audience. Caricatured characters spring to life, offering a window on what early modern viewers found entertaining. Literary critics in the past often liked to see in the comedias clear evidence for uncovering the modalities of daily life in the early modern period. The cast of the Golden Age play display qualities, mannerisms, and behaviors operating at extreme limits of social norms, where the opposition between these poles creates an elastic tension extending beyond shared social experience, yet nevertheless containing elements of it.

Keywords: golden age widow; Juan de Mena; lusty widow

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