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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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The Constant Prince

The Constant Prince

Neostoicism and the New Philosophy in El mártir del sacramento, San Hermenegildo

Chapter:
(p.119) 3 The Constant Prince
Source:
The autos sacramentales of Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz
Author(s):

Alice Brooke

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198816829.003.0004

The final chapter of this study analyses Sor Juana’s most perplexing auto, El mártir del Sacramento, San Hermenegildo. It argues that the key to understanding the play lies in its engagement with Neostoic writings on constancy. Thus, the play can be seen to present Hermenegild as the ideal Lipsian prince who develops this virtue until he rejects all worldly power and accepts his martyrdom. However, a careful examination of the treatment of sensory perception in the play, in particular its use of optical devices, demonstrates how Sor Juana sought to reconcile this promotion of Neostoic morality with a tempered epistemological optimism. Furthermore, an examination of the loa and its connection to the Carta atenagórica and the Respuesta sheds further light on the relationship between this play and the New Philosophy, and Sor Juana’s defence of her own participation in this circulation of new ideas.

Keywords:   El mártir del Sacramento, Hermenegild, magic lantern, optics, Justus Lipsius, Neostoicism, constancy, New Philosophy, Carta atenagórica, Respuesta a sor Filotea

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