Le Cid the Infanta and Social Standing Essay

Pages: 3 (1092 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: Black Studies - Philosophy

¶ … Infanta in Le Cid

The Infanta is a secondary character in Le Cid, and, because her role does not seem pivotal to driving the plot, she is occasionally removed from stage productions of the play. However, while removing the Infants from a production may not impact the plot of the play, it does dramatically limit the audience's ability to understand the setting of the play. During that time period, a person's place in society was a critical part of self-identity. Social standing not only imparted benefits, but also placed burdens on people during that time period and one of the Infanta's role is to explain how societal expectations impacted the characters in the play. Therefore, the Infanta, while a secondary character, is very necessary to a full understanding of the play.

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In Le Cid, Don Rodrigue is a young cavalier, or soldier, who is in love with Chimene, the daughter of Don Gome, one of the king's best warriors. Don Rodrigue distinguishes himself in battle, which leads the Moors to call him the Cid, which means the Lord. She is in love with him as well, but their relationship seems doomed. Don Rodrigue and Don Gome engage in a duel, and Don Rodrigue kills Don Gome. The Infanta (the princess) is the daughter of the king and a friend to Chimene. She consoles Chimene when Don Rodrigue and Don Gome first have an argument, which threatens the betrothal between Chimene and Don Rodrigue. Later, when Chimene is lamenting the fact that Don Rodrigue has killed her father, thus dooming their blossoming love affair, the Infanta comforts her with explanations that this dispute that she is viewing as disastrous is not as significant as Chimene believes it is. While Chimene wants to avenge her father, the Infanta argues against it, suggesting that public duty, as well as Chimene's own romantic feelings for Don Rodrigue argue against her seeking vengeance against him.

TOPIC: Essay on Le Cid the Infanta and Social Standing Assignment

When the Infanta is introduced to the play, she is consoling her friend Chimene about a fight between her intended and her father. Chimene is devastated; she believes that this disagreement threatens her impending marriage and will not be mended. However, the Infanta immediately suggests that Chimene is being overdramatic. She tells her, "Chimene my dear, don't grieve and suffer so; Don't let yourself be shattered by this blow. Calm will return soon, after this little squall; a passing cloud has dimmed your bliss, that's all" (II.3.1-4). She seems to suggest that men like Don Rodrigue and Don Gome, warriors, are likely to get involved in arguments. That they got into a hotheaded argument with one another is not something that the Infanta believes has to end their relationship. In fact, as the King's daughter, she seems confident that her father can make the men mend their dispute. She also offers to do anything she can to help the men end their quarrel. Her attitude certainly suggests that, as the King's warriors, both Don Rodrigue and Don Gome should listen to his counsel about disputes.

However, while the Infanta points out what the two men should do, Chimene is not confident that either of the men will meet up with their societal expectations. She tells her, "Such things won't vanish at the King's behest,… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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