Memory, Will, and Understanding in El veneno y la triaca by Calderón de la Barca: A Cognitive Approach
This dissertation explores the representation of cognition in the Spanish Golden Age theatrical genre the auto sacramental, with reference to the best known playwright of these eucharistic mystery plays, Pedro Calderón de la Barca, and specifically his pre-1644 auto El veneno y la triaca (The Poison and the Remedy). I contextualize the auto in the Western philosophical tradition in which it was rooted, while also probing the psychomachia or allegories of mental and emotional processes in relation to philosophy of mind, cognitive literary studies and recent neuroscientific research. How are cognition, emotion, and decision making used and depicted in dramatic structures including character, plot, performance, and audience reception? This study establishes the relationship between organic neurological and psychological processes and literary tropos and archetypes that can make the dramatic mimesis of the auto sacramental understandable or successful even in modern secular theatrical contexts.
Calderón de la Barca
Cognitive Literary Studies
Early Modern Spanish Literature
Philosophy of Mind
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