Disillusion or Objectivity? Historical Desengaño in Spanish Golden Age Historical Plays on the Middle Ages

Aktivitet: Foredrag og mundtlige bidragKonferenceoplæg


The concept of desengaño in the Spanish Golden Age is inherently ambiguous. It can suggest a person’s (disappointing) disillusion with life, but it can also imply the benevolent avoidance of delusion or of self-deception. The term has received some attention in 20th century scholarship but primarily pertaining to poetry. This paper suggests that desengaño might also play a considerable role in the period’s historical plays, especially those staging medieval themes. The paper therefore outlines the foundations for at study of the concept in the period’s historical drama with examples from Lope de Vega and Pedro Calderón. The paper pays special attention to their staging of medieval histories. It investigates the possible notion of a “historical desengaño” as a theme for the period’s conception of the nature of history and discusses to what extend the Middle Ages can be said to function as a reservoir of historical pessimism.
Periode2. apr. 2022
BegivenhedstitelRenaissance Society of America 2022
Grad af anerkendelseInternational


  • Lope de Vega
  • Calderón de la Barca
  • desengaño