- Purchase/rental options available:
La fuerza del natural, a play written sometime before 1655 by Agustín Moreto and Jerónimo de Cáncer, has been described by Ruth L. Kennedy as “one of the more attractive plays of Moreto.” In spite of the interest and quality of this text, it has received little critical attention until now. In the first part of this article, I examine how La fuerza del natural is related not only to Mira de Amescua’s Examinarse de rey, which served as a direct source for Moreto and Cáncer, but also to other plays that develop the theatrical motif of the peasant who finds himself in court and has to navigate through it. In particular, I show how Moreto and Cáncer expand the comic possibilities of this motif by resorting to the model of the figurón. In the second part of the article, I focus my attention on how the main character of La fuerza del natural not only serves as a comic element that articulates the plot, but is also used to put into motion a parodic reversal of court rituals related to social behavior and amorous courtship by humorously pointing out their performative nature and by dismantling the theme of the education of princes.