Among the works of theater of the Spanish Golden Age which feature a mujer varonil, Luis Vélez de Guevara's play, La serrana de la Vera (1613), is particularly provocative. The intensity and ambiguity of the dual nature of its female protagonist, Gila, has been the subject of much recent scholarly investigation. The staging of the play lends itself to a Levinian reading, a new approach to this particular text and theater of the Golden Age in general. Emmanuel Levinas moves beyond metaphysics, phenomenology and intentionality to posit ethics as first philosophy. Levinas explains that the face of the Other is a revelation before which my own presence is an epiphany and summons me into an ethical relationship before I am aware of my own being. A correct ethical relationship is maintained only when the Other is allowed her absolute alterity, otherwise the Other is subsumed into the matrix of the Self and the result is suffering. A Levinian reading of La serrana de la Vera moves beyond exploring systems of class and gender and discovers that the suffering in the play can be traced to face-to-face encounters in which individuals are unable or unwilling to truly see the face of the Other.
College and Department
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Jensen, Elizabeth Anne, "Creating identity in the face of the Other: A Levinian reading of Luis Vélez de Guevara's La serrana de la Vera" (2020). Theses and Dissertations. 9210.
Luis Vélez de Guevara, serrana, Emmanuel Levinas, other, Golden Age Theater, Gila, face