Date of Completion


Embargo Period



Spanish Golden Age, One-Act Plays, Theater, Humor, Material Culture

Major Advisor

Rosa Helena Chinchilla

Associate Advisor

Ana María Díaz-Marcos

Associate Advisor

Eduardo Urios-Aparisi

Field of Study



Doctor of Philosophy

Open Access

Campus Access


This dissertation is a study of the material cultural and social practices found in Spanish one-act plays whose fictional space was developed in the most important urban centers of 17th century Spain. I focus on how the trends of diversion and consumption determined the comic elements of the plays during that time in the public, domestic, exotic, and marginal spaces. This analysis illuminates the anxieties associated with the behavioral changes provoked by the new habits that emerged in a new society of consumers.

The development of consumption in the society of the late Habsburgs was accompanied by a proliferation of novelties and a multiplication of meanings and social practices associated with these objects. The analysis of the one-act plays suggests that goods and each particular space were a mark of social relationships, indicator of a determinate symbolic capital (Bourdieu, 1984, 1999) and creator, consequently, of a series of behaviors or everyday practices (De Certeau 1988; Lefebvre, 1991), where one could read a culture’s class structure or power relations from a telling particular artifact or event (Auslander, 1996; Fumerton & Hunt, 1999).