Speeches by Character La dama boba Click bar for references to body and emotion by speaker 359 FINEA 243 LAURENCIO 181 LISEO 181 OTAVIO 167 NISE 85 TURIN 72 CLARA 52 FENISO 48 DUARDO 40 PEDRO 38 CELIA 26 MISENO 24 RUFINO 15 LEANDRO 1 MUSICOS
FINEA body 47 emotion 96

The bar graph shows how many times each character in the play speaks. Finea, the foolish lady of the title, speaks the most, and her suitor Laurencio speaks the second most. On click, you will see how many words related to the body or emotions the characters utter. In Golden Age literature, one would expect to see love mapped to body parts: eyes, hands, and heart are important in the expressions for love. Most characters in this marriage play reference emotion more frequently than the body. The most "bodily" of our characters are the illiterate, honor-insensitive Finea, her maid Clara, and Finea's writing tutor Rufino, who resorts to corporal punishment when Finea refuses to learn.

The surprise in the graphs is that Laurencio is our most emotional character. He is a calculating and even evil suitor who rejects the woman he loves, Finea's brilliant sister Nise, because hers is the smaller of the two dowries. It is possible to read Laurencio as exclusively self-interested, taking advantage of an intellectually deficient victim. However, in Act III Finea reveals new intelligence, uttering lovely Neoplatonic images in a long soliloquy. She claims love has been her tutor, but her foolishness may have been a trick of the weak--a means of discouraging suitors not to her liking, like the foolish Liseo. In this play, characters seek what they lack: Laurencio is intelligent and poor, and so he seeks out the rich idiot Finea. Liseo is rich and naive, and he falls for Nise, whose fine mind balances her small dowry. The musicians who sing of love and marriage reflect a balance of body and emotion, the equilibrium of elements and traits medical writers like Juan Huarte de San Juan thought advantageous in sentimental relationships.