Previous criticism on Calderón's Tuzaní de la Alpujarra or Amar después de la muerte tends to focus on either the ethical parity created between the play's morisco and Spanish noble characters or the particular speech patterns of Alcuzcuz, the gracioso morisco. This essay argues that Alcuzcuz occupies a pivotal position in the action of drama and that his character holds structural as well as societal significance for the audience. On one hand, he behaves as a typical gracioso; on another, he connotes morisco integration into Spanish society. Alcuzcuz's humor puts into dark relief Calderon's representation of Spanish aggression against the moriscos in the rebellion of the Alpujarras (1568-1570), suggesting a critique of the excesses of this military action. Alcuzcuz and his amusing yet sincere antics allow Calderon's audience a temporary release from anxiety surrounding the morisco presence in Spain, producing a dramatic hiatus during which the playwright can draw spectators into compassion for the moriscos and a catharsis of national remorse for their persecution.


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pp. 63-78
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