One Stop Shopping at Sears?

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From "Freedom Isn't Free: Free Will in La vida es sueño Revisited" by Theresa Ann Sears:

"Some readers, such as Alexander Parker, have noted the ambiguity in Calderón's presentation of free will, in which 'It is generally said that Calderón's theatre upholds the freedom of the will (which is true), even against Fate and the force of Destiny (which is doubtfully true)' (97). Few point out, however, that the problem lies not in Calderón's view of free will, but in the concept itself. Spanish, unlike English, has two words for the general concept of will: albedrío and voluntad, both of which refer to faculties of the mind and heart as they were envisioned dating back to classical times. Both the words' origins and their subsequent accumulation of meanings, however, demonstrate subtle differences."

I think that her idea of freedom vs. free will was good, although I believe that she neglected to mention that the primary idea of the play was that those who run away from destiny, meet it but those who face their destiny have the "free will" to change it.  I could really write a paper about this, but I don't think that it would count as one of the two types of criticism we must use.

Think about this.  When Basilio tried to escape what he believed to be destiny, he robbed his son out of life.  Only when he decided to do the right thing did he discover that his son was not a monster (his reward).  Clarin, trying to run away from getting killed in the war hid, causing him to be killed.  When he was dying, he muddered something along the lines that by trying to run away from fate that he meets it.  Finally, when Basilio faces his son, he is received openly and their relationship is mended.  Thus, everyone who tried to run, faced the consequences.  Those who accepted the fact that they cannot control the future and "manned up" were able to overcome it.

What do you think?  What did you like about Sears' article?

Take me home.

2 Comments

Katie Vann said:

Angela, I think you helped me to partly answer the question I posed in one of my blogs. I understood that Clarin's last speech was very imporant to the play in that it caused Basilio, Clotaldo, and Astolfo to turn around and face Segismundo. Your comment on how this was to get them to face their fate in order to have free will in its outcome really helped me to fully understand this speech while relating it to this article. I liked Sears's article, I really could understand her examples and her claim.

Jenna said:

I think that is a great point that you bring up in regards to those who run away from destiny, meet it and those who meet their destiny can change it. That is also demonstrated with Rosaura. After disguising herself as Astarea, she relied on Clotaldo to get back her honor. Clotaldo did not help her. However, when she finally decides to fight with Segismundo against Basilio and Astolfo, she is able to regain her honor. The article was good to read and allowed a different perspective on the play.

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