Abstract:

This article explores the relationship between power, performance, and identity through the figure of the queen in Lope de Vega’s Los pleitos de Ingalaterra. Built upon a theoretical understanding of identity as both intersectional and performative, this study argues that compositional elements such as staging, costume, and spatial politics are essential to understanding the queen’s multi-faceted character and her relationship to power. By exploring the constant interplay between the queen’s identity markers—most notably gender, class, and sexuality—and how their variable expression or repression impacts on her ability to exercise authority, I demonstrate that power is temporary. In so doing, I show that power does not reside in a single individual or fixed category, and that, through these performative acts, the comedia invites a radical reconsideration of the hegemonic ideology that dictates who can and does merit power.

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