We focus on the hybridity of the seventeenth century theatre play El divino Narciso by the Mexican nun Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz. Traditionally, critics point out that the hybrid character of the play is the consequence of an ingenious mixture of the classic (Ovid’s Narciso) and the Christian tradition (the figure of Christ and his offer). Nevertheless, we find that the hybrid character of the protagonist and other main characters of the play can be explained as a multifaceted Judeo-Christian meaning. We highlight these different features, often contradictory but all of them originating from one and the same religious tradition: the Old and New Testament. We suggest that the dramaturge chooses to underline precisely the hybridity of the Christian tradition, which was introduced by the Spanish coloniser as a “pure” and “unmixed” religion, as to valorise the religious syncretism practised by the mestizo society in seventeenth century New Spain.
Baroque Hispano-American Literature Religious Theatre Cultural Syncretism