Splitting Hairs or Finding Threads: The Labyrinth as Metaphor for Moral Dilemma in the Comedia Chapter uri icon


  • The word labyrinth (laberinto) occurs 341 times in 204 different comedias and autos sacramentales written by such authors as Caldern de la Barca, Guilln de Castro, Miguel de Cervantes, Juan Bautista Diamante, Juan de Matos Fragoso, Agustn Moreto, Juan Prez de Montalbn, Francisco de Rojas Zorrilla, Juan Ruiz de Alarcn, Tirso de Molina, Lope de Vega, and Antonio Zamora. In some of these plays the word is central to the plays concept, such as in Lope de Vegas El laberinto de Creta (1621) or Calderns El laberinto del mundo (1717), while in other works (like Cervantess El laberinto de amor [1615]), it appears to be more tangential to the comedias overarching theme. In almost all cases, however, the presence of this word signals some sort of moral dilemma or ethical quagmire which the characters involved must somehow find their way out of. This essay will make its listeners more attuned to casuistical discourse in the comedias, while at the same time heightening awareness of the interplay of classical and Christian motifs. The resulting synthesis will be demonstrated to fit within established paradigms of Christian Humanism in the Renaissance and Baroque periods in Spain

author list (cited authors)

  • Kallendorf, H.

citation count

  • 0

complete list of authors

  • Kallendorf, Hilaire

editor list (cited editors)

  • Poza, S. L., Sueiro, N. P., de la Campa, M., Cuenca, I. P., Byrne, S., & Vidorreta, A.

Book Title

  • Docta y sabia Atenea. Studia in honorem La Schwartz

publication date

  • January 2019