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ANTONIO ENRIQUEZ GOMEZ'S HONOR TRAGEDY A LO QUE OBLIGA EL HONOR Glen F. Dille, Bradley University Lope's pronouncement concerning honor topics--«los casos de la honra son mejores,/ porque mueven con fuerza a toda gente»--has certainly been borne out by audience as well as critical interest.(l) The three wife-murder plays of Calderón continue to intrigue and, perhaps more than any other type, are the most consistently studied works of the Golden-Age comedia.(2) During the course of Calderonian investigation some mention is usually made of other honor tragedies, but to date little attention has been paid to A Io que obliga el honor, an excellent work of Calderón's contemporary, Antonio Enriquez Gómez (1600-1663).(3) Until fairly recently prejudicial comments of nineteenth-century critics have contributed in large measure to the obscurity of Enriquez's dramatic works. Although each year brings more critical study to bear on this author, the most comprehensive work still remains that of Amador de los Ríos.(4) However, with Révah's biography of Enriquez and his findings concerning the use of the pseudonym, Fernando de Zarate, there has been a renewal of interest not only in the comedia ofthis fascinating author but also in his prose and poetry.(5) Of the twenty-two comedias acknowledged by Enriquez A Io que obliga el honor has received the most comment.(6) Both Besso and De los Ríos discuss it, if only superficially,(7) and Mesonero Romanos found it worthy of inclusion in his Dramáticosposteriores aLope de Vega. Although Menéndez y Pelayo's distaste for Enriquez's «Jewishness» is obvious throughout his comments on the dramatist, he also cites A Io que obliga el honor as one of«sus dos mejores o menos malas comedias. »(8) But in any case, for MénendezA lo que obliga el honor was only very inferior imitation of Calderón. The question of who imitated whom is far from certain. Interestingly enough, De los Ríos was convinced that Enriquez's work came first and provided the topic for Calderón.(9) But his reasons were based on a mistaken idea that Enriquez was twenty years older than Calderón when, in fact, both poets were born in the same year, 1600. Nevertheless, it is possible that A Io que obliga el honor did come first. The lack of definite dates of composition for the comedias ofboth poets is the stumbling block. That Calderón might have found inspiration in the work of a Converso, although anathema to Spanish critics of the past century, is a very real possibility. In a recent article on the two parts ofthe Hija delaire, Constance Rose very convincingly makes a case for Enriquez's authorship of the second part and suggests that Calderón wrote a first part only after the second had 97 been composed.(10) If Rose is correct concerning Enriquez's authorship of the second part of the Hija del aire it seems as likely that Calderón drew upon Enriquez as Enriquez upon Calderón with regard to the topic of wifemurder .(ll) Regardless of its genesis, A Io que obliga el honor does demonstrate some similarities to the Médico de su honra and A secreto agravio, but nothing to make acceptable Menéndez y Pelayo's remarks as to the «servillismo con que pisa las huellas de su predecesor [Calder ón].(12) The principal similarity is, of course, that a wife is murdered by a husband who feels himself dishonored by the compromising advances of her former suitor. Unlike Calderón, who returned to the theme for three plays, this work of Enriquez represents something of an anomaly within his production, whether under his true name or as Zarate. Not all of the twenty-two plays listed in the introduction to the Sansón nazareno have survived, but of those I have been able to examine no other involves the murder of a wife by her husband.(13) While some statements by Enriquez do not rule out such an act, a striking feature of his other plays is the extreme reluctance to shed blood of...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1944-0928
Print ISSN
0007-5108
Pages
pp. 97-111
Launched on MUSE
2014-01-08
Open Access
No
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