Juan Ruiz de Alarcón: Impairment as empowerment in early modern Spain

Gloria Bodtorf Clark

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Juan Ruiz de Alarcón, a seventeenth-century writer and native of New Spain, so excelled at the craft of writing comedias that he is recognized as one of the great writers of early modern Spain. In his personal life Ruiz de Alarcón struggled with a significant bodily impairment, a large hump on both his back and front, which made him the target of much attention and scorn from his fellow writers and others in society. No journals or letters exist that document his personal life or attitudes toward his impairment. However, disability theory opens a way to explore the woven fabric of Ruiz de Alarcón's life and works. Both the themes and the characters in his popular comedias trace how his embodiment and experiences influenced his depiction of imperfections. Three of his seventeenth-century comedias, Las paredes oyen, La prueba de las promesas, and Examen de maridos, address different aspects of imperfection in both direct and indirect ways.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)103-115
Number of pages13
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language


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