This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

María de Zayas: Egalitarian Poetic Justice in the Spanish Golden Age




Stuckwisch, Matthew

Type of Degree



Foreign Languages and Literatures


María de Zayas should be studied not simply because she is a female author of the Spanish Golden Age of literature, but because her work stands on its own in quality. The history of Zayas criticism is described with emphasis on the value of her literature regardless of her gender as well as the approaches that critics take. Due to a lack of biographical information on Zayas, a reader-response critique is decided the best approach to her works. Zayas’s work is analyzed based on marginalized groups of people and the importance they play for the reader. Characters with bad qualities are balanced by those with good for all marginalized groups. The reader then understands that all people have an equal opportunity to save their souls regardless of their background. The novela --Y΄El juez de su causa‘ is analyzed as the most exemplary piece of Zayas’s work.