Comparative studies of Calderón and Shakespeare traditionally have attempted to rank one text (or even one playwright) over the other. The theoretical assumptions underlying such criticism for the most part have been drawn from a formalist method which delimited the critic's activity to the boundaries of the text itself, paying relatively little attention to socio-cultural background in which the dramatic text was produced and performed. By looking more closely at the historical circumstances in which theatrical practice developed in Madrid and London in the early seventeenth century, I argue, we will be able to see more clearly the differences that separated these two societies and the dramatic literature they produced. More specifically, the test case of two plays representing the same events, La cisma de Inglaterra and Henry VIII, shows us how important concepts of subjectivity and sexuality were constructed on the stage in England and in Spain. (GM)


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pp. 189-213
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