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Honor and Violence in Golden Age Spain$
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Scott K. Taylor

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780300126853

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300126853.001.0001

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(p.100) Chapter 4 Men
Honor and Violence in Golden Age Spain

Scott K. Taylor

Yale University Press

This chapter describes a belief contending that one's honor depends on the behavior of others. In a more general sense, wives and female kin had to maintain their sexual purity and even their reputation for sexual purity, or else disgrace the husbands, fathers, and brothers who were meant to control and protect “their” women. A stain on sexual honor can only be resolved via bloody revenge. During the Golden Age, there existed a powerful relationship between male honor and female sexuality. An excerpt from Calderon's The Painter of His Dishonor, with which the chapter begins, shows a potent enactment of this relationship. Judging from the honor plays, in Golden Age Castile the sexual purity of women was the only important component of male honor, and the only way to avenge dishonor related to this purity was with violence.

Keywords:   honor, wives, female kin, sexual purity, sexual honor, bloody revenge, Golden Age, male honor, female sexuality, honor plays

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