Upending Hegemonic Masculinity in Soror Maria do Céu’s Clavel, y Rosa

Anna-Lisa Halling


While most early modern authors align themselves with normative views on gender, Soror Maria do Céu (1658-1753) resists and subverts this tradition in her play Clavel, y Rosa, breve comedia aludida a los desposorios de María y Joseph (Carnation and Rose, a brief play on the marriage of Mary and Joseph, 1736). She achieves this in part by creating "feminine" male characters and assigning "masculine" characteristics to her female characters. Soror Maria affords more power and authority to women in her comedia, and she likewise undermines the validity of early modern social expectations related to men and masculinity by scrutinizing gender norms. In the end, Soror Maria creates a space of negotiation between the masculine and the feminine that allows for a reassessment of what it meant to be a man in late seventeenth-century Iberia.


Portugal; convent theater; gender norms; Virgin Mary; conduct literature

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.21471/jls.v3i1.209

Copyright (c) 2018 Anna-Lisa Halling