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Subjects Of Counsel

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Chapter Summary

Juan de Soto, an Augustinian monk born in Madrid and writing primarily during the first quarter of the seventeenth century, provides a rather striking interpretation of the status of widowhood and its obligations, which waivers somewhere between Ortiz Lucio's outright misogyny and Astete's more nuanced approach. The potentially complex interpretation of Judith could easily tilt towards negative example of feminine sexuality gone awry; instead, the interpretations of Castilian authors overwhelmingly centered on her positive role as a mediatrix of divine power. Judith begins to appear in a favorable light as early as the fifteenth century. A more commonly revisited arena in moralistic writing for transfiguration of gender roles stems from the injunction that a widow's primary task involves the governance of her household.

Keywords: Juan de Soto; Judith; widowhood

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