Title

Montaigne, Lying and Early Modern Self-Fashioning: A Discursive Dialogue with Lope's El perro del hortelano on the Page and on Stage

Publication Date

2013

Journal

Bulletin of Spanish Studies

Volume

90

Issue

4-5

First Page

577

Last Page

598

Abstract

A shared code of connection arguably exists between two plays by Lope de VegaEl mayordomo de la duquesa de Amalfi and El perro del hortelanoand the work of Michel de Montaigne. Nevertheless, one cannot but ask: how it can be that in two works produced so close in time, the same situation is resolved so differently? Montaigne can be said to provide an answer in his Essays, explaining that a similar situation can produce wholly different results: how in the first, one is saved', and in the second, one is destroyed. One might imagine, too, that Belflor's countess and her ennobled secretary, who together sustain a lie in a society that lived by the lie, would have been likewise consoled' by a set of interlocking tropes and similitudes' in the words of Stephen Greenblatt, which linked two contemporary and complementary fashioners of human nature, Lope and Montaigne, in a discursive dialogue on how otherwise honest women and men were subject to the vice of lying in their process of self-fashioning, as well as potentially enslaved' by it.

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