chapter  15
18 Pages

Violence in the Spanish Chivalric Romance

The Spanish chivalric romance, among the most popular fictional genres in the first two centuries of the printing industry, is characterized by frequent scenes of violence.1 For the purposes of this chapter, violence is not used in its more attenuated or abstract meanings, as in the discourse of political science, which invokes such concepts as “force,” “power,” “domination,” “authority,” “terror” in addition to “violence,” in the definition and analysis of political and economic structures and relationships. The concept of violence in this abstract sense, as in the consideration of the state as defined by its monopoly of the means of violence, has been thoroughly discussed by, among many others, Anthony Giddens (summarizing and referring to Marx, Durkheim, Weber, and others).2 Nor does this chapter focus on the psychological or criminological aspects of violence and its representation in literary genres and entertainment, although this too is a very rich and variegated topic.3