La Tramoyera: A New Role for Women in the Golden Age Comedia de Capa y Espada
thesisposted on 2013-02-21, 00:00 authored by Jelena Sánchez
This thesis offers a new classification for the female protagonists of the capa y espada plays in early modern Spain. The term tramoyeras, the 17th century vernacular epithet for scheming women, depicts a new distinction for these intelligent and cunning characters of agency and sets them apart from the similar yet different categories of female figures in the nueva comedia. The tramoyeras are women who take up subject positions in order to become agents of their own desire. This study presents a revisionist approach to the highly popular, comedic genre that challenged the success of tragedies and tragicomedies in seventeenth-century Spain. This thesis analyzes female agency through the lens of masquerade, transvestism, sex, language, voice, and property. The images of female insubordination displayed in the action, the dramatic discourse, and the opportunistic weddings emphasize possibilities and ruptures in the gender and social discourses of the dominant culture. Closure as meaning is produced not only by structural closing but by all the factors of representation and response implicated in the interactive process of dramatic production. The aim of this dissertation is to reaffirm women’s position as subject in literature and history.