The Body Politic and Its Parts in El médico de su honra.

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    • Abstract:
      This article examines how the representation of threats to and damage inflicted upon the physical body in Calderón de la Barca's El médico de su honra correlate with the text's problematic depiction and incisive critique of Spain's political body. It explores the modes in which homosocial relations determine the infliction of violence on those excluded from the bonds between noblemen. The play demonstrates how male and female physical bodies--seen in different stages of injury--have clear ties with the health of the body-state. There is a critique of the self-interested and politically driven means by which the aristocratic male characters, namely, Pedro, Enrique, and Gutierre, negotiate their own relationships and form the basis of the political body. These characters attempt to further establish and solidify their status and protect their interests, despite the cost to themselves and other subjects, that is, the body politic's "parts," and as a result, to the well-being of the kingdom as a whole. Through the various damaged bodies, El médico reveals a connection between its characters' physical health and the pervasive sickness of the nation controlled by some problematic parts. And it suggests that the relations between and among noblemen are at the heart of the sociopolitical ills. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
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