Skip to main content

Distributed for University of Wales Press


Shakespeare and Gender in Contemporary Spain

Distributed for University of Wales Press


Shakespeare and Gender in Contemporary Spain

It is astonishing how deeply the figure of Ophelia has woven itself into the fabric of Spanish literature and the visual arts, from her first appearance in the eighteenth century (translations of Hamlet), through depictions in seminal authors such as Espronceda, Bécquer, and Lorca, to turn-of-the millennium figurations. This provocative, gendered figure has become what male and female authors and artists need her to be. Is she invisible? A victim? Mad? Controlled by the masculine gaze? An agent of her own identity? Ugalde’s well-documented study addresses these questions in the context of Iberia. Poets, novelists, and dramatists, penning works in Spanish, Catalan, and Galician, and painters and art photographers bring Shakespeare's heroine to life in new guises. She performs as an authoritative female author, a sexually fulfilled woman, in a male body, as a cyborg, a lesbian, and as a historical marker of past oppression. New looks both reflect and authorize the gender diversity that has gained legitimacy in Spanish society since the political Transition.

272 pages | 26 color plates, 5 halftones | 5 1/4 x 8 1/4

Iberian and Latin American Studies

Literature and Literary Criticism: General Criticism and Critical Theory

University of Wales Press image

View all books from University of Wales Press


“A masterful and comprehensive study of the myriad manifestations of Ophelia in post-Franco Spain. The book includes all the literary genres—poetry, novel, drama—and the visual arts with stunning illustrations. Shakespeare’s tragic female character has taken on a wide variety of meanings in Spain’s recent culture, displaying an amazing adaptability to new circumstances.”


Roberta Johnson, Professor Emerita, University of Kansas

“The author offers a stunning, double-stranded approach to Spanish cultural production in twentieth- and twenty-first-century literature and art. The Shakespearian figure of Ophelia serves as the grounding from which the evolutionary genetics of gender and Spanish cultural history is made visible. This reference to DNA is deliberate: the imprint of Ophelia on contemporary Spanish art and culture is indelible.”


Margaret H. Persin, Professor Emerita, Rutgers University

Table of Contents

List of Figures
Chapter 1: Breaking Silence: Ophelia in the Lyric Tradition of Spain and the
Pioneer Innovations of Blanca de los Ríos
Chapter 2: Talking Back: Ophelia in Turn-of-the-Millennium Poetry
Chapter 3: The Myth of Ophelia in the Narratives of Clara Janés and Menchu
Chapter 4: Ophelia Takes Center Stage
Chapter 5: From Madwoman to Cyborg: Artist Marina Núñez’s Ophelias
Chapter 6: Ophelia in Front of the Camera
Epilogue: Ophelia: Refigurations in the Arts, Reiterations in the Fashion Industry

Be the first to know

Get the latest updates on new releases, special offers, and media highlights when you subscribe to our email lists!

Sign up here for updates about the Press