The Criminal Baroque: Lawbreaking, Peacekeeping, and Theatricality in Early Modern Spain (Hardcover)
A close examination of the representation of criminals in the understudied theatrical genres of the j cara and comedias de valentones. Early Modern Spanish theatre is viewed by many scholars as entertaining propaganda that channelled the emotions and beliefs of the masses into mechanisms for social control. This book questions such an interpretation by examining the portrayal of criminal heroes on stage and public spectacles of law enforcement outside of the playhouse. The book is structured in a way that moves between analyses of theatre, crime, and law enforcement while covering the intersections between these three phenomena. Through examples that range from dancing pimps to brawling kings, this study reveals that the propaganda power of early modern Spanish spectacle has been vastly overstated.