HONOR UNMASKED: REPRESENTATIONS OF MASCULINE HONOR IN THE LATE 19TH AND EARLY 20TH CENTURY THEATRE OF JOAQUIN DEICENTA, ROMAN DEL VALLE-INCLAN AND ALFONSO PASO
Sheppard, Sumor 1977-
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This dissertation examines the future of the Castilian masculine concept of honor as traced in its treatment on the stage in the late 19th and early 20th century. Masculine honor has held a prominent and almost unshakeable place in hegemonic masculinity in Spain, but this started to change in the late 19th century. The start of a series of changes in the nation’s governance, as well as its transformation into a Mass society, converged to create a crisis for this one aspect of masculinity. Using three influential authors from three different time periods in the 19th and 20th centuries (Joaquín Dicenta, Ramon del Valle-Inclán, and Alfonso Paso), the theme of masculine honor is traced and analyzed. The study begins with an historical overview of honor, tracing its roots from antiquity to its beginnings in a self-governing Spain. Complementing this historical overview and definition of Castilian masculine honor and its corresponding honor code is a description of the type of society within it exists in the 19th and 20th centuries: a Mass Society. The three plays analyzed here are Juan José by Joaquín Dicenta, El Esperpento de Los Cuernos de Don Friolera by Ramon del Valle-Inclán, and La Corbata by Alfonso Paso. Each play has been canonized as being an honor play but not all are found not be such plays here. Dicenta’s play’s egalitarian view of masculine honor is twisted and contorts the concept for application in deviant, domestic abuse situations. Valle-Inclán’s esperpento, although a parody of sorts of the honor-play, is really a didactic, anti-Semitic tool of propaganda very common during his era in Europe where the theatre was used to promote ideologies such as fascism. Paso’s La Corbata, the most recent of the trio, is the only play where masculine honor is actually present. The representation links a declining masculine honor concept with a declining traditional, middle class being crushed by the forces of a Mass society.