Magia oculta, cuerpo celeste: Representaciones de lo sobrenatural en Los desengaños amorosos de María de Zayas
Herland, Margaret S.
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In early modern Spain, when María de Zayas published Parte segunda del sarao y entretenimineto honesto, more commonly known as Los desengaños amorosos (1649), the existence of magical and supernatural forces was considered fact. It is therefore unsurprising that Zayas employs supernatural elements throughout her stories, with characters proclaiming the events to be entirely true. This essay will analyze the use of the supernatural in the Desengaños in order to reveal how their representation intersects with the didactic purpose of the novellas. Since each of the novellas is intended to illustrate that women cannot trust men and to teach men how to better treat women, the representation of the supernatural must be considered a tool utilized by Zayas to support her final moral point. She codifies magic as male or female and then associates feminine magic with Heaven and goodness while masculine magic is linked to the devil and evil. However, despite the fact that her codification of the source of magic verges on matriarchal, the effects of magic highlight the failures of patriarchal society by showing that even the redeeming forces of the feminine, religious supernatural tend to benefit men and ignore or even harm women.