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Explore the dramatic function of honour in Calderon's 'El alcalde de Zalamea' and 'El medico de su honra'
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Explore the dramatic function of honour in both El medico de su honra and El alcalde de Zalamea.
The theme of honour is omnipresent in Calderon's comedias El medico de su honra and El alcalde de Zalamea, a theme which was key in Spanish Golden Age theatre. The issue of social hierarchy is deeply inscribed in these plays as well, portrayed by characters ranging from kings and aristocrats to messengers and servants.
Calderon displays different views of honour through his characters. For example, in El alcalde de Zalamea, Pedro Crespo's honour makes him act humbly towards higher authority as can be seen through his attitude and behaviour towards Don Lope de Figueroa. Pedro Crespo's ideas of honour and good name are not the conventional ones, but come from his heart.1 For example when Don Lope asks Pedro Crespo sit down with him, Pedro Crespo replies: "Pues me dais licencia digo, señor que obedezco, aunque excusarlo pudierais." 2 It is somewhat surprising that Pedro Crespo should reply in such a way, as he humbles himself far more than he should have to, as although he is not of noble blood but a mere a peasant, he is considered
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