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A Study of Antichrist Typology in Six Biblical Dramas of 17th Century Spain

  • Author(s): Wells, Jason Allen
  • Advisor(s): Parr, James
  • et al.
Abstract

This dissertation examines Antichrist types manifested in the primary antagonists of six biblical dramas of seventeenth century Spanish theater. After researching the topic of biblical typology in the works of theologians Sir Robert Anderson, G.H. Pember, Arthur W. Pink, and Peter S. Ruckman, who propose various personages of both the Old and New Testaments that adumbrate the Antichrist, I devise a reduced list based on extant plays of the Spanish Golden Age whose main characters match the scriptural counterparts of my register. These characters are Cain, Absalom, Haman, Herod the Great, Judas Iscariot, and the Antichrist himself. I consult the Bible to provide the reader with pertinent background information about these foreshadowings of the Son of Perdition and then I compare and contrast these characteristics with those provided by the playwrights in their respective works. By making these comparisons and contrasts the reader is able to observe the poets' embellishments of the source material, artistic contributions that in many instances probably satisfy the reader's desire for details not found in the biblical narratives. I take into consideration ecclesiastical demands placed on the playwrights that can account for omissions or modifications in their theatrical productions of the source material. I also analyze how the authors make use of non-scriptural sources and incorporate them into their portrayals of my proposed Antichrist types. Unlike many dissertations in the field of Spanish, which offer alternative readings to classic works of literature, this study is unique in that it examines relatively unknown biblical dramas of seventeenth century Spain by implementing the novel approach of typology, focusing not on heroes but rather anti-heroes.

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