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THE FUNCTION OF THE MOLINERA IN DON GIL DE LAS CALZAS VERDES William R. Blue, University of Kansas Much of the complexity and confusion to be found in Don Gil de las calzas verdes L· the intentional handiwork of the principal figure, Doña Juana. The difficulties of the complex plot have been well worked out by Everett Hesse in his recent Análisis e interpretación de la, comedia (Madrid: Editorial CastaHa, 1968), pp. 43-51. He establishes Juana as the central character and the connecting link bebetween the various intrigues. Tirso offers an insight into the workings of Juana's mind, her purposes, desires and fears early in the play in a song beginning , "Al moHno del amor/alegre la niña va."' This part of the play has been mentioned by other critics, but their position has been that the songs in the play are popular elements added by the playwright to appeal to his public. For example, Ricardo Doménech, in a recent edition of the play states: Tras la seguidiUa o la moHnera, se halla una verdad incontestable. La estrecha comunicación dramaturgop úbHco es patente en Don Gil ... a través de aspectos muy diversos: el tema mismo, la figura de Caramanchel . . . Pero estas letras para cantar nos revelan, de una sola vez, espectacularmente , que Don Gil ... es una comedia escrita para un púbHco muy concreto, un púbHco de extracción eminentemente popular, y que éste acude al teatro, en cierto modo, como a una fiesta.2 A careful analysis of the song will show that it is a lengthy conceit providing the reader with a view of the complexities and activity of Juana's mind at a crucial moment in the devolpment of the action and that it is more than popular diversion or ornamentation. The song occurs at an important juncture in the development of the play: Juana, disguised as Don Gil, is for the first time confronting her adversary, Inés, who, along with Clara and Juan, is in the garden awaiting the arrival of the other Don Gil, Martin. He wishes to marry Inés for her money and position . Martin, it will be remembered, has aHeady promised marriage to Juana, but abandoned her earlier due to her poverty. Juana must make Inés fall in love with her so that Martin will have no chance to carry out his plan. Inés and Clara are smitten by the handsomeness of Don GU — Juana — and are dancing as the song begins: Al moHno del amor alegre la niña va a moler sus esperanzas: quiera Dios que vuelva en paz. (11. 861-65) On the anecdotal level, the young girl goes to love's mill to grind her hopes. The miU is then seen and felt in its essential machine-Hke quaHties that grind the material brought to it, here, esperanzas. However, it is love's mill and the girl goes happily to have her hopes ground obviously in the beHef that something better will come from them. The mill, she beHeves, wiU transform her hopes into more meaningful or useful substances as a more prosaic miU transforms grain into flour which can be made into bread, the staff of Hfe. The phrase quiera Dios que vuelva en paz clearly impHes that there is some danger involved for she may just as well not have a happy outcome.3 Moler, 14 then, may be the key to the possible danger as it may well imply transformations that can be either positive or negative; it can refine or destroy. In the case of Juana, she can either win back Martin or she can lose both him and her honor depending on the result of the trip to the molino del amor. En la rueda de los celos el amor muele su pan, que desmenuzan la harina. y la sacan candeal. (11. 866-69) The grindstone and the grist of love's mill is jealousy. Jealousy performs the actual transformation of the hopes just as the grindstone changes the grain to flour. From harina, the mill produces candeal which is a fine, white bread; thus the transformation part of the...


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