About this book
This book explores the cultural conditions that led to the emergence and proliferation of Saint Hermenegildo as a stage character in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. It considers how this saint became a theatrical trope enabling the Society of Jesus to address religious and secular concerns of the post-Tridentine Church, and to discuss political issues such as the supremacy of the pope over the monarch and the legitimacy of regicide. The book goes on to explain how the Hermenegildo narrative developed outside of Jesuit colleges, through works by professional dramatist Lope de Vega and Mexican nun Juana Inés de la Cruz. Stefano Muneroni takes a global approach to the staging of Hermenegildo, tracing the character’s journey from Europe to the Americas, from male to female authors, and from a sacrificial to a sacramental paradigm where the emphasis shifts from bloodletting to spiritual salvation. Given its interdisciplinary approach, this book is geared toward scholars and students of theatre history, religion and drama, early modern theology, cultural studies, romance languages and literature, and the history of the Society of Jesus.