Spanish culture in the Renaissance abounded in laughable icons: from the unfortunate rogue (pícaro) to the chivalric madness of Don Quixote, and from the light-hearted comic dramas of Lope de Vega to the scathing satires of Quevedo. In this course we will explore all those expressions and many more, situating them in their social context. What did it mean to laugh at someone in the Spanish Renaissance? Who were the objects of ridicule? What techniques sparked laughter? Where was humor appropriate, and where inappropriate? What was the Church's reaction to comedy and irreverence? How did the government react to political satire? What were the effects of laughter on those who laughed? We will try to answer those questions by reading literature (comedy, satire, farce), analyzing Renaissance theories of humor and laughter (by courtiers, physicians and theologians), and dissecting social emblems of laughter (the court jester, the carnival, etc.)
This course counts as literature credit toward the Spanish minor. This course is not suitable to be taken in conjunction with SPANISH 308.
This course will be taught by Prof. Javier Castro-Ibaseta.