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'¡Volviose en luto la boda!': Ritual and the Technologies of Power in Lope's Fuente Ovejuna

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


Journal publication date04/2004
JournalModern Language Review
Number of pages12
Original languageEnglish


Fuente Ovejuna's foregrounding of religious and folkloric rituals demonstrates the intimate relationship between politics and ritual in the construction of communal identity. The inhabitants of the village apprehend their past, present, and future as contiguous processes and the rituals in which they take part reinforce their notion of community. The Comendador breaks their sense of continuity by disturbing the rituals that they associate with different life cycles, forcing them to revolt. This culminates in the collective torture of the villagers, which, as Foucault has emphasized, is bound up in a relationship of power whose significance is culturally embedded and socially productive.