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Guillen de Castro and the Codification of Honor William E. Wilson, University of Washington One unresolved problem relating to honor as it is dealt with in Spanish literature previous to the end of the Golden Age is "When did the use of the word ley with reference to specific aspects of pundonor become sufficiently common so that one could say that honor had become codified?" The late Professor George T. Northup in the excellent introduction to his edition of three plays by Calderón has a section called "The Spanish Conception of Honor."1 Northup states "Most aspects of the honor problem had already been treated by Lope and his school. Calder ón, with his legalistic mind, merely developed the idea and refined upon it. We may say that he codified honor ." (p.xvi). As aspects of the code of honor found in Calderón, Northup lists the following: la ley natural; la ley de la presencia real; courtship en palacio; haciendo el agravio deudo; con quien vengo, vengo; primero soy yo; antes que todo es mi dama; por forastero; las blancas manos no ofenden; por mujer y desdichada; amor es todo enredos; no hay cosa como callar; a secreto agravio, secreta venganza. ( pp.xvii-xxiii ) . Despite the assertion given above that Calderón codified honor, one can find in the 27 plays which Bruerton considers to be authentic Castro,2 references which show that honor had been codified at least several years before Calderon's first play was published . Quotations in support of this statement will be limited to those in which ley is specifically mentioned in connection with some aspect of honor. In El desengaño dichoso, which Bruerton lists as one of Castro's earliest plays, ascribing to it the date "ca. 1599", Ia ley de amistad is mentioned. Ariodante, one of the characters, has long been in love with Ginebra. Duke Polineso becomes interested in the young lady and asks Ariodante to stop courting her. Ariodante refuses, and chides Polineso for breaking one of the laws of honor: Ariod Si dices que profesé tu amistad, dices verdad; mas la ley de esta amistad tu Ia rompiste. Polin.¿Por qué? Ariod. Porque yo he sido el primero que a Ginebra tuve amor, y así como pretensor más antiguo, quedar quiero donde es razón que me dejes sin darme enojo, o si no, si alguno te diere yo, ni te ofendas ni te quejas.3 A similar situation arises in El nacimiento de Montesinos ( 1595?-1602? ) Isabela tells Grimaltos that she is madly in love with him and asks him to requite her love, although she is well aware that Grimaltos has long been a suitor of the Princess, whose secretary she is. Grimaltos disdains her advances as he tells her: Grim. Y siendo tú de la Infanta secretaria y camarera, cuando al cielo me levanta el pedirme que te quiera la ley de amistad quebranta . (I, 419b). 24 In El caballero bobo (1595P-1605?) Anteo finds much to criticize in the fact that an innocent husband may lose his honor because of the misdeeds of his wife: Anteo.Diga, y si Dios no es servido de permitir y querer que sea buena la mujer,¿queda afrentado el marido? Duque Es ley de mundo. Anteo.Inhumano es el que la hizo y entiende;¿es ley que a todos comprende ? Duque. Desde el Rey hasta el villano. (I, 51a). This sentiment is repeated in Engañarse engañando: Mar.¿Cómo puede ser buena una ley tan mala, que castiga al inocente? (III, 162b). One aspect of la ley de la presencia real was that there must be no duelling in the king's presence. His coming upon a duel meant that sword play must cease immediately. Thus in a scene in which two noblemen are about to engage in a duel, the king appears on the scene: Criado. El Rey viene. Ariod.¡Ah, si tardara! Lure.Respetalle es justa ley. (I, 334a). The duel does not take place. Neither the king nor a prince could deprive a subject of his honor by administering a buffet. When Anteo, who has voiced considerable criticism of the honor code...


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