The inclusive endings of most Calderón plays have latterly troubled critics to the point where some have seen his indeterminacy as a failure to face the consequences of his own dramatic postulates. "Comic Pharmacology" invites the calderonista to put aside the sharp and mutually exclusive binary oppositions inherent in the thinking of the Poetics of Aristotle, as inscribed in generic ideology, in favor of two other models, an earlier one provided by Socrates in the Symposium and the Phaedrus, and a later Derridaian one derived from these. "Comic Pharmacology" proposes that Socrates's struggle to align comedy with tragedy likewise informs the dramaturgy of Calderón and that the degree to which a play partakes of one mode rather than its companion other—sibling, twin—is a function of the strength of the tragic dose, pharmakon. Comedy is thus a dilute of the prime tragic potion.


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pp. 53-91
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