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Melancholy, the Comedia, and Early Modern Psychology

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Chapter Summary

The recent debates concerning the use of the terms "Golden Age" and "early Modern" with regard to Spanish Renaissance and Baroque literary production reflect issues inherent in a discussion of the frequent depiction of melancholy in literature of the period. In particular, the comedia with its representational connections to social, political, and religious currents held in common with its popular and royal audiences provides a useful example of such discursive and performative contributions to the appreciation of what was developing in the intellectual culture. Melancholy, is a hallmark representing intellectual shift, and the comedia stage is especially rich with examples of its usefulness to playwrights in their depictions of the rising recognition of the hegemony of the individual intellect. The Spanish drama influenced the theatrical and prose production of other nations, and "most famously the Querelle du Cid and the French Academy's imposition of classical rules for drama".

Keywords: Baroque literary production; comedia; French Academy; melancholy; Spanish drama



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