Open Access Open Access  Restricted Access Subscription Access

The Sibila’s Gaze and Acoustic Space in Farsa del juego de cañas

Natalia Pérez


In this essay I look at the productive tension between the visual and the acoustic elements in the Iberian sixteenth-century play La farsa del juego de cañas by Diego Sánchez de Badajoz, with special attention to the uses of the female voice in the complex spatial organization of the stage. In the first part of my essay, I argue that through the figure of the Sibila, the playwright experiments with new notions of conceptual dramatic space. I then show how this medieval and Iberian sibila can be read in the context of a long tradition of other subversive female figures, such as the Greco-Roman sibyl or the Homeric muse, who have traditionally been represented as passive vehicles of both poets and gods. In this short play these passive female figures are transformed into an active and powerful force that creates the dramatic space that will make the performance of the play possible. Due to the unusually detailed stage directions that accompany the play, we have a clear view into Sánchez de Badajoz's complex use of theatrical space, which allows contemporary readers and spectators to imagine the intricate relationship between Early Modern textual practices and performances.

Full Text:



  • There are currently no refbacks.