The weight of law in Calderón
From La vida es sueño to El postrer duelo de España and El pintor de su deshonra, Calderón repeatedly explores the weight of law on the individual, dramatizing the conflict between desire and law on both sides of the sexual divide. Law, invoked in its multiple variants - divine, natural and human - collides with the honour code, love, loyalty to friends, to family and to the king and institutions of the state and of power frequently abuse concepts of justice. The fact that Calderón never wrote the promised second part of his only two dramas with eponymous titles, Judas Macabeo and Luis Pérez el gallego, suggests that the dramatist never found a satisfactory resolution to the fundamental human dilemma therein, that of finding a perfect individual balance between desire and the many faces of law. © 2013 Copyright Bulletin of Spanish Studies.
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