By Barbara F. Weissberger
As queen of Spain, Isabel I of Castile (known to background as Isabella the Catholic, 1474-1504) oversaw the production of Europe's first geographical region and laid the principles for its emergence because the greatest empire the West has ever known-nearly a century ahead of the higher recognized and extra largely studied Elizabeth I of britain. What we all know of this outstanding ruler is sometimes gleaned from hagiographic texts that negate her strength and settle for her personal propagandistic self-fashioning as valid inheritor, pious princess, dedicated spouse, and heaven-sent healer of the injuries inflicted on Spain's physique politic by way of impotent kings, seditious nobles, and such bad others as Jews, Muslims, and sodomites. Isabel principles is the 1st booklet to ascertain the formation of the queen's public picture, targeting innovations designed to deal with the ideological and cultural dissonance created by means of the mix of her gender and her profoundly patriarchal political software for unifying and purifying Spain. Barbara Weissberger identifies basic and interrelated options one of the supporters of the queen-often writing in her employ-and her critics. Her loyalists use Marian imagery to painting Isabel as a pious, chaste, and submissive queen consort to her husband Ferdinand, whereas her rivals think the queen as a voracious and lascivious whore whose illicit energy threatens the virility of her male topics and inverts the conventional gender hierarchy. Weissberger applies a materialist feminist standpoint to a big selection of texts of the second one 1/2 the 15th century on the way to discover and learn the masculine psychosexual nervousness created via Isabel's anomalous energy. She then demonstrates the patience of the 2 facets of the propagandistic building of the Catholic queen, reviewing smooth remedies in Francoist schoolbooks and within the fiction of Juan Goytisolo, Alejo Carpentier, and Salman Rushdie. Barbara F. Weissberger is affiliate professor of Spanish on the collage of Minnesota.
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Additional resources for Isabel Rules: Constructing Queenship, Wielding Power
I say, then, that absolute princes and governors of republics are to take no small account of this matter” (3:26; quoted in Pitkin, 115). For Machiavelli, as for Mena and his parodist, women are both cause and sign of the ruler’s political impotence. 77 Machiavelli’s fear of and contempt for women has two quite diﬀerent targets.
It is a continuation of a discourse of impotence that Isabel and her supporters eﬀectively deployed against her enemies Enrique IV and Juana I of Castile. But Carajicomedia hurls the accusations of impotence back against one of her staunch supporters. This comic misdirection of her own discursive weapons is a sarcastic attack on the queen’s perceived masculinity, manifested in her anomalous status as female sovereign and in her unauthorized assumption of the virile, authoritarian role Mena fashioned for her father in Laberinto de Fortuna.
The iconization of María Coronel as chaste martyr for the Trastamaran cause thus functions as a powerful foundational myth that masks the kingly crime against the body politic and grounds the political order in a dangerous female sexuality. The political motivation for the extensive treatment of female chastity becomes clear in the ﬁnal stanzas of the Circle of the Moon. There Mena exhorts his king to “always keep a watch on civic life, so as to safeguard chastity” [la vida política siempre zelar, / por que pudicicia se pueda guardar] (144; st.
Isabel Rules: Constructing Queenship, Wielding Power by Barbara F. Weissberger