The Examination of Husbands

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Hardcover ISBN: 9788411267816 Typographic rustic ISBN: 9788496428362

In The Examination of Husbands (El examen de maridos) Agnes, she decides to put her suitors through a series of severe tests. However, before starting the contest she falls in love with Don Fadrique. The episode takes place in the middle of the allegations of Don Carlos, another suitor, against the lucky rival. Thus, slave to her pride, Inés begins the examination of husbands.
Shortly afterwards it is discovered that Carlos does not aspire to marry Inés. He has only intervened in the marriage contest because he has believed that Blanca, with whom he is in love, has yielded to the gallantry of Don Fadrique. Once the wrongs are cleared up, the couples fix themselves.
El examen de maridos is one of the three comedies of entanglement by Juan Ruiz de Alarcón conceived around a test:

  • The Likeness to Himself,
  • The Test of Promises
  • and The Examination of Husbands.

These works are inspired by The Novel of the Curious Impertinent by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Example XI of Count Lucanor, The Merchant of Venice, and Les vissionaries by Jean Desmarets.
The authorship of The Examination of Husbands has been much disputed, although most critics consider it Ruiz de Alarcón’s. In this piece it is worth mentioning the character of Doña Inés, one of the most accomplished of all his theater, whom several men court.
Here Ruiz de Alarcón inserts popular sayings, from America and Spain. In addition, his interest in achieving aesthetic excellence in commitment to truth and moral values is perceived.

Day one

(Doña Inés, in mourning, and Mencía leave.)

Mencía: Since you’ve been left alone
with the death of the Marquis
your father, forced is,
Madam, take state;
that in his house thou hast happened,
and a leading woman
It seems in court bad
No parents and no husband.

Agnes: I can’t answer you anymore,
nor can I solve more,
that to my father I shall be
so obedient in death
as in life I was;
and with this just attempt
I await your will
to dispose of me.

(Beltran leaves on his way.)

Beltran: Give me, madam, your feet.

Inés: Come very much in good time,
Beltran, friend.

Beltrán: The penalty
of the death of the Marquis,
My Lord, may He be in glory,
I regret to renew you,
When it was right to turn away
of such a dismal memory;
but I fulfill what he commanded
Near the last breath:
instead of a will
This sheet was handed to me,
overwritten for you.

(Give him a sheet.)

Agnes: To receive him, from the breast
comes out, in tears undone
(Open the spread.)
the heart. It reads:
“Before you get married,
Look what you do.”

Mencía: Don’t you say more?

Inés: No, Mencía.

Beltrán: His last disposition
He encoded everything in one line.

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