Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Carlos Cano, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Pablo Brescia, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Manuel Sosa-Ramírez, Ph.D.


Romanticism, Poetry, Treatment of women, Subjectivity, Female sexuality


This work explores the portrayal of the female subject in the work of the Spanish Romantic poet. José de Espronceda, This study will analyze the misogynistic representation of women and the denial of female subjectivity.

The first chapter discusses the biographical, historical and literary contexts of Espronceda’s work. This section will discuss Romantic notions of subjectivity, as well as the ambivalence towards the women during the 19th century. This ambivalence produced a conflict that was reflected in the representation of women as either pure angels or vile demons.

The first work that will be discussed is the poem “A Jarifa en una orgía”. I will explore how Espronceda vilifies the sexuality of the female protagonist and how Jarifa is used to reflect the disillusionment of the poet. This section will show how female subjectivity is displaced in favor of the male subject.

The second work I will examine is El estudiante de Salamanca. This study will explore how Espronceda treats the figure of the seduced woman, Elvira. It will also analyze how Elvira’s dualistic nature serves as a means for the poet to express his Romantic vision.

The third work I will analyze is “Canto a Teresa”. “Canto a Teresa” is dedicated to Espronceda’s former lover, Teresa Mancha, and is part of a larger poem, El diablo mundo. This chapter will examine how Espronceda portrays Teresa using the Madonna-whore model. This section will also discuss the conflicting opinions on the question of misogyny in this poem.