The wayfarer's gaze: Images of women in the works of Luis de Góngora
Donnelly, Giuliana M
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The treatment of female characters in the work of Luis de Gongora y Argote is a theme that has received notable critical attention. The focus of this study will be the female characters themselves. Unlike much of the research on Gongora's work, in which the characters serve as devices to trace Gongora's inspiration by previous writers, or in which they as seen as "evidence" in support of the personal aspects of Gongora's life, my purpose is to reveal the writer's attitude toward women by examining how he reflects, or projects, their images. The female figures studied are: (1) Angelica, in the romance of Angelica and Medoro, "En un pastoral albergue" (1602), (2) Hero, of the Hero and Leander folk tradition, addressed in Gongora's parodic romances "Arrojose el mancebito" (1589), and "Aunque entiendo poco griego" (1610), (3) Galatea of the Galatea/Polyphemus/Acis story, in Gongora's La fabula de Polifemo y Galatea (1613), and (4) Thisbe, of the Pyramus and Thisbe tradition, treated by Gongora in "De Tisbe y Piramo quiero" (1604), and La fabula de Piramo y Tisbe (1618), and (5) the women of the Soledades, (1613). I support the connection made by other scholars between the Wayfarer figure and Gongora himself. Thus it is Gongora's view of the women in his texts that will be studied. I make use of such critical tools as the concept of the "male gaze," and binary oppositions. The latter serves as a point of departure for a specific analysis of the texts regarding gendered space and silencing. I will show that the narrative perspective, in the poems studied here, systematically serves to silence, or even erase the women it regards.