Shakespeare and Gender in Contemporary Spain

Author(s) Sharon Keefe Ugalde

Language: English

Genre(s): Literary Criticism, Gender Studies, Art and Music

Series: Iberian and Latin American Studies

  • May 2020 · 272 pages ·216x138mm

  • · Paperback - 9781786835987
  • · eBook - pdf - 9781786835994
  • · eBook - epub - 9781786836007

About The Book

It is astonishing how deeply the figure of Ophelia has been woven into the fabric of Spanish literature and the visual arts – from her first appearance in eighteenth-century translations of Hamlet, through depictions by seminal authors such as Espronceda, Bécquer and Lorca, to turn-of-the millennium figurations. This provocative, gendered figure has become what both male and female artists need her to be – is she invisible, a victim, mad, controlled by the masculine gaze, or is she an agent of her own identity? This well-documented study addresses these questions in the context of Iberia, whose poets, novelists and dramatists writing in Spanish, Catalan and Galician, as well as painters and photographers, have brought Shakespeare’s heroine to life in new guises. Ophelia performs as an authoritative female author, as new perspectives reflect and authorise the gender diversity that has gained legitimacy in Spanish society since the political Transition.


‘A masterful and comprehensive study of the myriad manifestations of Ophelia in post-Franco Spain. The book includes all the literary genres – poetry, novel, drama – and the visual arts with stunning illustrations. Shakespeare’s tragic female character has taken on a wide variety of meanings in Spain’s recent culture, displaying an amazing adaptability to new circumstances.’
-Roberta Johnson, Professor Emerita, University of Kansas

‘The author offers a stunning, double-stranded approach to Spanish cultural production in twentieth- and twenty-first-century literature and art. The Shakespearian figure of Ophelia serves as the grounding from which the evolutionary genetics of gender and Spanish cultural history is made visible. This reference to DNA is deliberate: the imprint of Ophelia on contemporary Spanish art and culture is indelible.’
-Margaret H. Persin, Professor Emerita, Rutgers University

'Sharon Keefe Ugalde has realized a captivating and persuasive analysis of the Ophelia myth in the arts and literature produced since the beginning of the Spanish Transition to the presentday. Of special note is the broad scope of her material as well as close, fruitful readings that—as she notes in her “Introduction”—fill a void concerning renditions of Ophelia in Iberian art and literature. In terms of readership, this book is of interest to the general public as well as those interested in Iberian Studies.

- John Margenot in Hispania, Volume 104, Number 2, June 2021


[Series Forward]
List of Figures
Chapter 1: Breaking Silence: Ophelia in the Lyric Tradition of Spain and the Pioneer Innovations of Blanca de los Ríos
Chapter 2:Talking Back: Ophelia in Turn-of-the-Millennium Poetry
Chapter 3:The Myth of Ophelia in the Narratives of Clara Janés and Menchu Gutiérrez
Chapter 4: Ophelia Takes Center Stage
Chapter 5: From Madwoman to Cyborg: Artist Marina Núñez’s Ophelias
Chapter 6:Ophelia in Front of the Camera
Epilogue:Ophelia: Refigurations in the Arts, Reiterations in the Fashion Industry

About the Author(s)

Author(s): Sharon Keefe Ugalde

Sharon Keefe Ugalde is Distinguished Professor of Spanish Literature and Culture at Texas State University, San Marcos. She is the author of numerous critical works on Spanish poetry, including En voz alta. Las poetas de las generaciones de los 50 y los 70 (2007), and Conversaciones y poemas. La nueva poesía femenina española en castellano (1991).

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