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Bulletin Of The Comediantes Vol. XVIII Fall, 1966 No. 2 Further Notes on El Burlador de Sevilla G. E. Wade, Vanderbilt University I. "THE "EYE- AND HAND-OATHS" Using Castro's line-numbering for the Burlador in the Clásicos Castellanos edition of the play, we find in 940-42 these words of Don Juan to Tisbea: Juro, ojos bellos, que mirando me matáis, de ser vuestro esposo. Castro, following Ed. Barry, proposed that Don Juan's words be taken as a casuistic oath to Tisbea's eyes as a substitute for a swearing to her person, an oath uttered, Castro thought, with the purpose of deceiving her even more thoroughly into thinking that she had received a sincere promise of marriage. Like Spitzer, we see no need to assume casuistry on Don Juan's part. (For a brief discussion of the matter, see Daniel Rogers, "Fearful Symmetry: The Ending of El burlador de Sevilla," Bulletin of Hispanic Studies, XLI, 148, n. 2). The eyes, "la parte más preciosa del cuerpo, las ventanas adonde el alma suele asomarse [the "windows of the soul" in Shakespeare and others], dándonos indicios de sus afectos y passiones. . . , los mensageros del corac ón y los parleros de lo oculto de nuestros pechos" (Covarrubias) were considered by Tirso and his contemporaries as the organs that received and also uttered love. Don Juan, looking deeply into Tisbea's eyes, "que mirando me matáis," is caught up into the sensuous pleasure of her person.1 As the two stand in close embrace — a logical posture for them at the moment although there is no stage direction to that effect — Don Juan addresses Tisbea 's eyes as though they were her person, and his words have about the same meaning as "Juro, mi bien." We recall the stock belief for Tirso and his contemporaries that love entered through the eyes and was expressed by them: "D. JUAN. ¿No echas de ver por los ojos, / mi Trisbea, mi coraz ón?" (Tan largo me lo fiáis, Da. B, IL 598b, 25-26); "Por la vista el alma bebe / llamas de amor" (Vergonzoso en palacio, I, 1. 917); "Bebió el alma por los ojos" (Don Gil de las calzas verdes, I, 1); "ignorando que se entrara / el alma, amor, por los ojos" (Cómo han de ser los amigos, I, 1); "dale a beber por los ojos / ponzoña sabrosa y lenta" (El árbol del mejor fruto, Ll); "Con las lenguas del amor, / que son los ojos" (Los amantes de Teruel, Da. B. de los Ríos, Obras de T., 1, 1250) ; "que por los ojos amor / habla" (Todo es dar en una cosa, I, 1). The eyes as a surrogate for love were often used as an expression of endearment; thus Beatriz calls the Virgin Mary her "ojos" (Doña Beatriz de Silva, III, i). Again, the "eye-oath" has significant commentary in La mujer por fuerza (L ??): FLORELA. ¡Qué testigos! CONDE.¿No? Pues basten juramentos. FLORELA. ¿Cuáles? CONDE.Oye:¡Plegué al cielo que me falten tus ojos si te ofendí. . . FLORELA.............¡Qué juramento notable !¿Mis ojos juras? 29 CONDE.Pues, Celio, tú, que sus cielos [ojos] miraste, ahora di si perdellos es juramento bastante. FINEA ["CELIO"] Mirarlos de espacio quiero. FLORELA. ¿Los ojos quieres mirarme ? FINEA ["CELIO"] Quiero saber su valor, porque el conde no se engañe.¡Jesús! ¡Es gran juramento ! Son dos cielos, que por darles este nombre, tienen almas con sol que en sus niñas arde. Or consider Paulo's answer to Sabina's "juradlo": "Por esos ojos / que hacen cielo aquesa cara" (El caballero de gracia, II, iv). And the Sabina of La eleción por la virtud (I, x), having exclaimed to Césaro "Pues júralo," receives his reply, "Por tus ojos." Later on in the same scene he tells her that "La hermosura / de esos ojos vale más / que cuanto mi sangre ilustra." And again, in La dama del olivar (L iv), Guillen swears to Laurencia: "Yo lo juro"; and when she asks him "¿De qué modo?" he responds, "Por tus ojos." Don Juan's oath, then, has no casuistry ; he is simply...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1944-0928
Print ISSN
0007-5108
Pages
pp. 29-32
Launched on MUSE
2014-01-08
Open Access
No
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