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Foundations of the Hispanic World 2: Reality, Magic and Desire in the Baroque Period

Module Code: HP207
Module Name: Foundations of the Hispanic World 2: Reality, Magic and Desire in the Baroque Period
Module Credits: 15

Why is Don Quixote a masterpiece of world literature? What did Cervantes mean by writing about a madman tilting at windmills? Why did Golden-Age Spanish dramatists concern themselves with love, desire, and wife-murders?

These are some of the key questions for a module that explores canonical works of 17th Century Spain. We begin with some of Cervantes' brilliant short stories, the Novelas ejemplares, and then read part one of Don Quixote. We will also examine Cervantes' writing in the context of ideas of the 'New World’, and of magic and the marvellous, and we identify the imaginative strategies that he uses to challenge the bounds of plausibility and entertain his readers. In the second part of the module we explore the themes of honour and society in Golden-Age drama. We read the original play that created Don Juan stereotype, and consider challenges to authority and the treatment of the social position of women in works Lope de Vega and Calderón de la Barca. Lastly, we finish with a consideration of the motif of the world as a stage by reading Calderón’s masterpiece, La vida es sueño.

You should aim to read part one of Don Quixote before the start of term.


Primary Reading:

Miguel de Cervantes, 'Rinconete y Cortadillo', 'El casamiento engañoso' and 'Coloquio del los perros' from the Novelas ejemplares

Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quijote de la Mancha Part One only

Tirso de Molina, El burlador de Sevilla

Lope de Vega, Fuenteovejuna

Lope de Vega, El castigo sin venganza

Calderón de la Barca, El médico de su honra

Calderón de la Barca, La vida es sueño


Assessment Method:

Two x 2,500-word essay

Essay deadlines for the academic year 2016-17:

Essay 1: 12 noon on Friday week 8, term 1 (24 November 2016)

Essay 2: 12 noon on Friday week 1, term 2 (13 January 2017)

Further details on essay maximum word-lengths, footnoting/endnoting, submission requirements, and procedures for requesting extensions can be found here.


Please note that this is an Honours Level module.

Alison Ribeiro de Menezes

Alison Ribeiro de Menezes

Link to the tutor's web page

In 2016-17, the module runs in term 1, Tues 4-6pm in H4.03

In 2016-17, this module will be taught by Mr Rich Rabone

(email: m.rabone@warwick.ac.uk)