Spanish

Golden Age of Spain in Fernando de Rojass La Celestina

Right after getting her menses, the young Spanish woman was considered an eligible bachelorette ready to be married off. Of course, it depended upon certain elements being fulfilled first. First of all, the dowry was a necessary evil.
But before she could even think of getting married to a certain gentleman, there would have to be a time of courtship. Usually in Spain, there was a period of about a year or so where the man would court the young lady he was interested in marrying. Before that would happen, however, there were various things that went on in a young single woman’s life that dictated whether or not she would be successful in becoming a noblewoman, or a married woman. First of all, a woman’s gaze was considered to be enough to bring shivers down a man’s back. For a woman to maintain eye contact with a man was considered a bit scandalous, since women were to avert their eyes from anyone and were to avoid looking anyone straight in the eye. To look a man in the eye required a certain kind of boldness and daring that was not often found in most Spanish women, simply out of respect and tradition.
Secondly, another element upon which everything hinged was honor, as well as a woman’s virginity. Virginity was considered sacred and the keystone of the virtuous woman’s arsenal. Whoever was a woman’s suitor was measured by the virtuousness of his beloved:
Thirdly, young women were not allowe…
To look a man in the eye required a certain kind of boldness and daring that was not often found in most Spanish women, simply out of respect and tradition.
"To look up, to look someone straight in the eye was
what girls had to avoid if they wished to give guarantee
of their chastity." (Gaite 1991, 72)
Additionally, in the time of Golden Age Spain, there was little freedom for women.

"Parker cautions against interpretations of sixteenth-
and seventeenth-century Spanish literature that
emphasize bold rebellion against the status quo:
‘For every instance in which the theme of freedom
appears in Spanish literature of the 16th and 17th
cenutries as praise of the natural life, there are
ninety-nine in which it appears as a question of
moral discipline.’" (Gascon 2006, 115-116)
Secondly, another element upon which everything hinged was honor, as well as a woman’s virginity. Virginity was considered sacred and the keystone of the virtuous woman’s arsenal. Whoever was a woman’s suitor was measured by the virtuousness of his beloved:
"For the most part, in Golden Age Spanish drama,
a woman’s virtue or vice either enhances or
diminishes her husband’s, father’s, or brother’s
reputation and is, therefore, not equal to the honor
of her male counterpart. Donald R. Larson states
that the "most unusual feature of the concept of
honor that prevailed in Spain in the seventeenth
century [is] namely, the dependence of the
honor of the male on the chastity of the female."
(DiPuccio 1998, 74)
Thirdly, young women were not allowed to go out of the house, for any reason,

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