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Reviews375 Cleopatra in Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra and The Lady in Strindberg's To Damascus III. The turning point in Bosse's career came at a crucial point of change in Swedish theater. She remained a frequent guest artist at various theaters; she toured the provinces, participated on occasions in the incipient Swedish film industry, and worked with Sjöström in his two-part film The Ingmarssons (1919), based on Selma Lagerlöf's Jerusalem, before her final humiliating return to the Royal Dramatic Theater in 1933 to conclude the last ten years of her acting career in a series of small roles which received "little or no critical comment" (p. 174). A career spanning more than four decades had come to an end with a whimper for an actress consumed by the theater. Embittered and lonely, she still felt an outsider in Sweden after fifty years and returned in 1955 to Norway, where she died in 1961 at the age of 83. Harriet Bosse "found it difficult to accept growing old" and continued to view herself as "an alluring coquette" and "a leading actress" (p. 190) although time and history had not proved her altogether correct. Like all scholarship of quality and distinction, Waal's study of Harriet Bosse not only answers but also raises many central questions of significance to acting history in general and Swedish theater in particular. Her book is of very special interest to the field of Scandinavian drama and of importance to Strindberg scholarship. GORAN STOCKENSTRÖM University of Minnestota Dian Fox. Refiguring the Hero: From Peasant to Noble in Lope de Vega and Calderón. University Park: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 1991. Pp. xiii + 242. $29.95. This study presents a provocative and revisionist thesis, and one that is not entirely without merit. It is generally agreed that the Spanish comedia is unique in allowing a rustic to be the protagonist of a serious play. Fox argues that far from condoning the actions of their peasant characters, Lope and Calderón intend their audiences to censure them. However, Fox's interpretation of the texts involves some misreadings and a slanted presentation of the evidence. When she imposes her questionable hypothesis on a number of rather different texts, the result is an unsubtle reading that often ignores the conventions of the theater she claims to clarify. Because the book is directed to both Hispanists and to students of other literatures, the latter are well advised to read it with caution. As an example of the problems posed by this study, I will discuss the chapter on Lope de Vega's Peribáñez. Fox views Peribáñez as materialistic , volatile, and violent. His "priority remains ensnaring the Comendador red-handed" (p. 105). Peribáñez "planned with great intelligence since the second act to trap and kill Don Fadrique" (p. 126); he "had thoroughly premeditated and organized the entire death scene" (p. 115); and he is the author of a script that "lures the impassioned Comendador to the farmer's house and murders him" (p. 115). Such rhetorically inflated overstatement is characteristic of the tone of this study. Even 376Comparative Drama if one allows for a negative portrayal of Peribáñez's act, it could be argued that if Lope is censuring anything, it is the honor code itself and not this instance of its manifestation in a peasant. Fox's campaign to portray Peribáñez in the worst possible light involves some misleading translations and thereby slanted interpretations of the Spanish text. The King's timely appearance at the end of the play, where he usually acts to restore order, is a convention of Golden Age dramaturgy. Often, this intervention is ambiguous because of some well known moral flaw on the part of the sovereign in question. In an effort to identify both Peribáñez and the King as murderers, Fox argues that Lope has the King anachronistically present at his grandfather's murder of the legitimate king (Pedro). Thus, in Fox's translation it is the King who gives his grandfather the dagger with which he murders Pedro (p. 121). The passage, to be sure, is confusing, but it seems more...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1936-1637
Print ISSN
0010-4078
Pages
pp. 375-377
Launched on MUSE
2016-10-05
Open Access
No
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