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The autos sacramentales of Sor Juana Inés de la CruzNatural Philosophy and Sacramental Theology$
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Alice Brooke

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198816829

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198816829.001.0001

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Divine Reflections

Divine Reflections

The Wit of El divino Narciso

Chapter:
(p.36) 1 Divine Reflections
Source:
The autos sacramentales of Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz
Author(s):

Alice Brooke

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198816829.003.0002

This chapter explores Sor Juana’s best known auto sacramental, El divino Narciso. In particular, it focusses on what previous critics have perceived to be the weakness of the play, that is Sor Juana’s choice of Narcissus as a figure of Christ. In contrast, this study argues that the apparent dissimilarity between Narcissus’ self-love and Christ’s selfless love is precisely the reason for Sor Juana’s choice. In particular, it explores a little-known source for the play, Jakob Masen’s Speculum imaginum, and its connection to Golden Age theories of wit. Specifically, it demonstrates how Masen’s emphasis on originality and the unexpected, together with his theories on mirrors and optics, explains Sor Juana’s Christological reading of the Ovidian myth. The study then turns to the loa to explore how the treatment of optics in the auto can also be applied to its introductory piece, and how this illuminates its reading of the Conquest.

Keywords:   El divino Narciso, Metamorphoses, wit, conceptism, optics, Jakob Masen, Narcissus, colonial gaze, syncretism, a lo divino

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