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A soldier's shame: the specter of captivity in "la historia del cautivo".

Al estudiar el personaje del Capitan Ruy Perez de Viedma de Don Quijote, este ensayo propone la existencia de un fenomeno que llamo el espectro del cautiverio: una continua afliccion afectiva inscrita en la figura del cautivo que se manifiesta sobre todo en la expresion de la emocion de la verguenza. Esta verguenza tiene su origen en varios codigos culturales de la Espana imperial, entre los cuales se contempla el estigma que acompanaba al cautivo espanol debido a la sospecha de apostasia y la percepcion popular del cautiverio como una experiencia contaminante. Afligido por el espectro del cautiverio, el Capitan tiene que depender de su talento retorico al narrar su historia para asi disipar esta sospecha y ser aceptado por los demas huespedes de la venta. Las dimensiones sociales de este intercambio narrativo, consecuentes con la concepcion aristotelica de la emocion y fundamentales para la estetica cervantina, prescriben la necesidad de un dialogo publico para resolver cargas emocionales fuertes y enfrentar a su vez los asuntos politicos y eticos de los que se nutren.


Le capture apparait donc toujours comme frappe d'une tare originelle et indelebile qui pesera sans fin sur son destin.


MANY OF THE POLITICAL, economic, and religious anxieties of the sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Mediterranean were brought to bear upon and largely embodied in the figure of the captive, a living commodity whose circulation in turn permeated the consciousness of Spanish national identity and informed the construction of an early modern political, popular, and literary imaginary. (1) Much as the Mediterranean was a contested space of empire, the captive can be read as a contested body which is affected and inscribed by imperial forces, a body imprisoned and marked indefinitely by its encounter with the otherness of captivity. For despite many attempts at defining the legal status of the captive in the theoretical, philosophical, and juridical writings of scholars from Aristotle to Francisco de Vitoria, the Mediterranean powers of the early modern era were far from establishing a practical consensus on the ethically problematic nature of captivity. Many authors of the period contributed to this debate by exploring the complex status of the captive in their fictional writing as well especially Cervantes, whose own captivity in Algiers greatly influenced his literary production. (2)

The contentious nature of the captive is apparent even in the etymology of the term itself. According to Joan Corominas's dictionary, cautivo "significo 'infeliz, desdichado'" (735). Furthermore, the term cautivo "supone inocencia; excita sentimientos de confraternidad, de compasion y de ternura, y trae consigo la idea de las mazmorras, de los grillos y cadenas, y de los padecimientos en general; y por esta razon se han apoderado los poetas de las voces cautivo, cautiverio, o cautividad para expresar las penas del amor" (Roque Barcia 824). Accordingly, the term cautiva connotes an important sociohistorical meaning that was related precisely to Mediterranean slavery in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. But this definition indicates that the captive was laden with an affective content as well, conjuring strong feelings of pathos and palpable images of dungeons and chains. (3) It is these affective registers of captivity that I would like to explore in this present essay. By studying the character of Captain Ruy Perez de Viedma (of "La historia del cautivo") in Don Quijote (1.37-42:456-521), I will posit the existence of what I will call the specter of captivity: an excess of affect and affliction that continues to haunt the captive well after his liberation from imprisonment. I further define the specter of captivity as the complex emotional burden manifested through the (in)action of the captive and the insistent need to conceal his condition from the recognition or gaze of the other. In the case of Cervantes's Captain, the specter of captivity can be witnessed most significantly in his inconspicuous yet unmistakable expression of shame, an affect which induces him to be consciously discreet in his rhetorical self-presentation at the inn. I will thus understand shame as a "kind of fear of disrepute," the definition of the emotion offered by Aristotle in the Nicomachean Ethics (1781) and which Renaissance historian Werner L. Gundersheimer claims "constitute[d] the locus classicus for most subsequent treatments" (37). (4)

For Aristotle, shame--as well as emotion(s), more broadly--are irreducibly social. Unlike modern, empiricist, or subjectivist conceptions, emotion was for centuries understood not as a private, individual phenomenon bur as ah experience produced and sustained by a public exchange. It is for this reason that Aristotle devotes so much energy to discussing emotions in the Rhetoric, a guide to engaging public sentiments through the rhetorical art. The elicitation of an affect such as shame was thus inseparable from external judgment and the consciousness of one's status before an audience, considerations which point up shame's association with a desire to conceal or diminish that which could be outwardly observed as a moral transgression or personal defect. In much of Cervantes's writing, especially Don Quijote, characters are constantly confronted by situations in which they are asked to recount their life stories and circumstances. These episodes of secondary narration constitute a critical element of Cervantes's aesthetic technique: instead of a narrator's in-depth descriptions of a character's psychological state (such as are found in the modern realist novel), we are more often provided with an intradiegetic audience's public reaction and emotional response to another character. In this way, the Aristotelian conception of emotion is particularly illuminating for Cervantine narrative, which foregrounds the social dimension of these kinds of affective exchange. Although, as will become apparent, the Captain's story is by no means devoid of references to captivity as a personal struggle, the specter of captivity is suggested most strongly when he is confronted by other characters whose judgment and estimation he highly values. This dependence upon a judgmental public also informs the specter of captivity's curious temporality: although weighing on the captive during imprisonment, the most intense manifestations of shame occur when he contemplates either a future potentiality of the other's recognition or the actual appearance before the other well after having regained his freedom. Thus the captive is haunted by the possibility of liberation as well: even the anticipation of freedom summons the affective burden of the awareness that he will have to produce a rhetorical representation that convincingly dispels the other's suspicion of captivity. Nevertheless, an additional modality of shame that I will consider proceeds from the classical conception of the emotion as an "indicio de virtud y de modestia" (Covarrubias 1002). This civic function of shame problematizes the Captain's captivity by conferring upon it an affirmative quality through which shame is paradoxically the source of and solution to his trials in the bagnios of Algiers.

After describing the manifestations of shame in the Captain's narrative, I will examine three personal and social phenomena to which I attribute the specter of captivity and the Captain's resultant anxieties. The first of these is undergirded by relations of kinship, or the familial and economic expectations and obligations that become unfulfilled upon the protagonist's capture. The second aspect of the Captain's shame is evidenced by the characteristic of reticence within his story, a reticence rooted in his physical treatment during captivity. The final explanation I will propose is based on the common stigmatization of captives who, even after their liberation, often continued to be regarded with suspicion and contempt. This element of the Captain's shame is the one most deeply enmeshed in the unique cultural context of the early modern Mediterranean, where the experience of captivity was always accompanied by the disquieting possibility of apostasy. The proliferation of renegades--historical and literary--attests to what was regarded as the powerful threat of Islam to the politico-religious discourse of Catholicism, otherwise grafted almost seamlessly onto Spanish national identity. This temptation to convert often hinged on the promise of the improved living conditions, greater social freedoms, and, indeed, full liberation from captivity that apostates enjoyed merely by renouncing their Catholic faith. These shameful suspicions and stigmatizations attending to Spanish captives also explain why they would be inevitably more haunted by the specter of captivity; nevertheless, the full significance of these sociohistorical phenomena is not self-evident. Rather, I will contend that a better understanding of them is directly informed by any earnest attempt to comprehend the emotional states they produce. Instead of what may have conventionally been regarded as a mere byproduct of subjectivity or literary excess, then, affect itself will be conceived here as a locus of a plurality of meanings. Writing on the Aristotelian affiliation between emotion and politics, Marlene K. Sokolon observes: "since emotions are essential for the development of ethical dispositions, any analysis of ethics, justice, and the good political regime similarly requires an understanding of the role of emotions in human social and political action. A comprehensive understanding of human emotions is, therefore, also an essential aspect of understanding human politics" (32). I thus hope to dernonstrate how ah analysis of the Captain's shame can ultimately lead to a better understanding of the social, political, historical, and ethical factors that traverse and are simultaneously inscribed by the specter of captivity in the early modern Mediterranean.

This is not to say that fictional characters' emotions correlate directly to the affective registers present among a given readership or society, and much less to what may be imprecisely termed the historical "reality" of that society. To imply otherwise would be not only to commit a fundamental epistemological error, but also to neglect the aesthetic value of the representation in question. Steven Hutchinson has suggested that "some characters, rather than being less than real persons, may be more than real persons, and their emotions may be more than those of real persons, but in any event they are still within the modalities of the human" ("Dimensions" 79). (5) Although the emotive peculiarities of Zoraida and the intensity of the scene in which she abandons her father are also worthy of further study, I would suggest that the affective valences surrounding Ruy Perez de Viedma are more complex and worth exploring for their imbrication of sociopolitical meaning bound up in the already affectively charged figure of the captive. Incidentally, the historical prevalence of Spanish captives also lends this character greater verisimilitude than that of his Moorish savior, Zoraida, and thus places him more squarely "within the modalities of the human." In addition to its oft-cited historical and semi-autobiographical value, (6) the literary effectiveness of the episode hinges largely upon Cervantes's artful deployment of affect and its circulation among the characters of the Captain's narration as well as the guests of the inn. As in other episodes of secondary narration in Dan Quijote, the reader receives a sort of cumulative effect of the buildup of these emotions and comes to empathize with the storyteller through and alongside the intradiegetic audience in the novel. It is precisely this empathy from and symbolic acceptance by his public at the inn that would seem to diminish the Captain's shame and portend at least partial relief from the specter of captivity, and it is his rhetorical expertise and calculated narration of his story that ultimately procure this acceptance and exonerate the Captain from the judgmental gaze of his audience. Thus, while a victim of the economy of captivity that circulated in the early modern Mediterranean, the Captain is in part relieved of its specter by virtue of an affective economy that circulates among the other guests at the inn.

In effect, the characters who have gathered at Juan Palomeque's inn promptly announce their function as judges by sizing up the strangely dressed couple upon their arrival. Expressing their zeaious suspicion of Zoraida, Dorotea says, "el traje y el silencio nos hace pensar que es lo que no querriamos que fuese" (1.37:462). As Luis E Aviles notes, "No cabe duda que esta manera de articular una opinion partiendo del nosotros es una manifestacion a nivel micro de cierto poder que se ejerce desde el grupo" (184). In addition to announcing their strong feelings toward the Muslim religion, this subtle demonstration of power indicates the group's criticai role in the Captain and Zoraida's eventual acceptance or rejection at the inn and, symbolicaily, in greater Christian Spain. The Captain hastens to explain to the onlookers that "Dios sera servido que presto se bautice con la decencia que la caiidad de su persona merece, que es mas de lo que muestra su habita y el mio" (1.37:463; my emphasis). His explicit acknowledgment of their appearance indicates that the Captain has intuited the judgmental power of the group and is self-conscious of its gaze. According to Jacques Lacan, the mere placement of a subject within the field of vision of the other implies a reduction of the subject to shame (84), a phenomenon predicated on Jean-paul Sartre's original conclusion that "shame is shame afonselfbefore the Orbe?' (303). Equally important to Sartre's conception of shame is appearance ("I am ashamed ofmyselfas Iappear to the Other" [302]) and recognition ("Shame is by nature recognition. I recognize that I am as the Other sees me" [302]).

Shame circulates in a similar economy of the visual in the scene at the inn: the Captain recagnizes that his appearance is being apprehended by the gaze of his onlookers. Shame is thus inscribed upon the Captain from the moment of his arrival and independently of the social factors informing the specter of captivity. The narrator affirms that "si estuviera bien vestido," the other characters would consider him a "persona de caiidad y bien nacida" (1.37:461). Although granting the Captain conditional approval, the use of the imperfect subjunctive mood here (as earlier in Doroteffs "no querriamos que fuese") serves to reinforce the power of this conditionality and of the group's judgmental authority. Eager to gain full acceptance and estimation by his audience, in the Captain's description of Zoraida he himself acknowledges the crucial priority of physical appearance, contrasting it with the strength of spiritual desire which lies underneath: "Mora es en el traje y en el cuerpo; pero en el alma es muy grande cristiana, porque tiene grandisimos deseos de serlo" (1.37:463). Given the economy of appearance that reigns in the scene, it is not surprising that the other characters are unsatisfied with this attempted justification ofZoraida and require more tangible, visible proof of her internal convictions. Dorotea, as spokesperson, entreats her to remove her veil, and her astounding beauty serves as this necessary evidence by immediately melting her initially icy reception: "Y como la hermosura tenga prerrogativa y gracia de reconciliar los animos y atraer las voluntades, luego se rindieron todos al deseo de servir y acariciar a la hermosa mora" (1.37:463). (7)

Soon thereafter, the group at the inn beseeches Ruy Perez de Viedma to remove the veil of his past by telling his story, yet he shows himself reluctant, fearing that "el cuento no habia de ser tal, que les diese el gusto que el deseaba" (1.38:472). Although couched in the Captain's typical modesty, this fear of not pleasing his audience is an indication of his shame and further evidence of the former captive's self-consciousness before his public which, as his brother later obserces, "era gente principal toda la que aUi estaba" (1.42:516). Just as he himself was visually appraised upon his arrival, the Captain would not have failed to recognize the predominantly noble composition of his audience who--even in the case of Don Quijote (whose discourse on Arms and Letters the Captain wimessed)--seems to be relatively culto and well-educated. The collective nobility of his audience--comprised of Don Fernando, Cardenio, and Luscinda as well--is significant in that it would have rendered the Captain even more self-conscious and ashamed. Indeed, for Aristotle the emotion of shame is sensitive to the social status or esteem held for one's public, since "the people before whom we feel shame are those whose opinion of us matters to us" (Rhetoric 2205). Having already recognized the otherness embodied in his appearance, the first words of his narration reflect an attempt to diminish the shameful tension produced by his arrival and to secure a more normative rapport with his powerful public: "En un lugar de las montafias de Leon tuvo principio mi linaje" (1.39:472). More specifically, this opening statement is clearly designed to establish the Captain as a cristiano viejo and therefore address the fact that, as Maria Antonia Garces notes, "he would be suspected, along the lines of Zoraida, of belonging to the 'other side'" (211). The effects of such a performative utterance are similar to those achieved by Zoraida's spontaneous insistence on being called "Maria." The crucial difference, however, is to be found in the Captain's shame: unlike Zoraida, he would be well acquainted with the cultural and religious fervor of Spanish society and therefore employs conscious strategies of self-presentation in order to tame his shameful otherness. Here again, shame implies recognition or awareness of one's appearance before the other and produces a self-conscious attempt to reconcile or normalize the encounter and thereby reduce the original shame.

Ruy Perez de Viedma continues his self-presentation by describing the familial circumstances which led him to become a soldier. Echoing a common folkloric trope, his father instructs his three grown sons to elect a profession "que os honre y aproveche"; namely: "Iglesia, o mar, o casa real" (1.39:474). A crucial element of his motivation, however, is that, having already squandered a large part of the family patrimony, the father decides to divide his estate among his sons before his prodigality bankrupts them. Despite the significant observation that his father's profligate nature derived from his experience as a soldier, it is Ruy Perez, the primogenito, who follows in his father's footsteps by choosing to serve in the king's tercios, since "es dificultoso entrar a servirle en su casa; que ya que la guerra no de muchas riquezas, suele dar mucho valor y mucha fama" (1.39:474). This economic caveat of his chosen profession notwithstanding, the young, future Captain takes pity on his father and returns to him most of the money he was allotted through the sale of the family hacienda. His younger brothers follow suit, each returning a thousand ducats, and, before leaving home to embark on their respective careers, make an important promise to their father: "nos despedimos del y de aquel nuestro tio que he dicho, no sin mucho sentimiento y lagrimas de todos, encargandonos que les hiciesemos saber, todas las veces que hubiese comodidad para ello, de nuestros sucesos, prosperos o adversos. Prometimosselo" (1.39:475). Recounting his participation in various historic mihtary campaigns and his rise through the ranks as a soldier, Ruy Perez de Viedma quickly demonstrates that he has indeed gained much valor, fame, and honor and has thus fulfilled the ethical requirements of his profession as well as the expectations of his father. In reference to the famous Battle of Lepanto (1571), he says, "que yo me halle en aquella felicisima jornada, ya hecho capitan de infanteria, a cuyo honroso cargo me subio mi buena suerte, mas que mis merecimientos" (1-39:477), thereby showing a befitting sense of humility as well. Conducting himself with the bravery and leadership expected of an officer, the Captain is the first of his company to storm an enemy ship just before it is diverted and he is left alone at the hands of the Ottoman Turks. A dramatic shift in the tone of his narration, which becomes laden with affective descriptions of his sudden turn of fate, marks his first encounter with the specter of captivity.

The first reference to the newly captive Captain's emotions stands in stark contrast to the overwhelmingly positive feelings shared by the victors of the Battle of Lepanto:
   Y aquel dia, que fue para la cristiandad tan dichoso, [...] entre
   tantos venturosos como alli hubo (porque mas ventura tuvieron los
   cristianos que alli murieron que los que vivos y vencedores
   quedaron), yo solo fui el desdichado; pues, en cambio de que
   pudiera esperar, si fuera en los romanos siglos, alguna naval
   corona, me vi aquella noche que siguio a tan famoso dia con cadenas
   a los pies y esposas a las manos. (1.39:477; my emphasis)

This passage provides insights into the psychological impact of captivity through the use of several contrasting metaphors. These include: his hyperbolic account of being the only ill-fated soldier among so many victors; his being less fortunate in life than other Christians in death; the darkness of his first night of captivity following the brightness of such a famous day; and the handcuffs and chains as opposed to a Roman naval crown. The Captain further accentuates this contrast by noting with forsaken resignation, "y solo fui el triste entre tantos alegres y el cautivo entre tantos libres" (1.39:478). In this way, he immediately establishes a mental and emotional link between sadness and captivity as well as happiness and freedom. Even death in battle is associated with "buena ventura," given that he echoes the ideology of self-sacrifice so important to military service. Although not surprising in themselves, these correlations can be observed for the duration of his captivity and suggest that it be conceived as an emotional burden that is only temporarily alleviated by circumstances which either remind him of freedom or offer him the hope (however remote) of regaining that freedom. Indeed, after several failed attempts at escape, he confesses that "jamas me desamparo la esperanza de tener libertad; y cuando en lo que fabricaba, pensaba y ponia por obra no correspondia el suceso a la intencion, luego, sin abandonarme, fingia y buscaba otra esperanza que me sustentase, aunque fuese debil y flaca" (1.40:485). In essence, the Captain has found it necessary to seek and even invent therapeutic circumstances and possibilities in order to withstand the psychological and emotional burden of his captivity.

This nearly existential reliance on hope is coupled with an almost total subjection to chance, marked throughout his narration by the incessant repetition of words such as "acaso," "suerte," "ventura," and "desdichado." As we have already seen, as the lone "desdichado" of the battle, he attributes his initial capture precisely to bad fortune: "Y fue desta suerte: [...] salte en la galera contraria, la cual, desviandose de la que habia embestido, estorbo que mis soldados me siguiesen y asi, me halle solo entre mis enemigos" (1.39:477). The very use of the verb desviar in this sense confirms a sudden reversal of fortune based solely on the unpredictable and capricious currents of the choppy sea, a phenomenon witnessed again when his escape ship begins to drift back towards Africa. The Captain's insistence on the vicissitudes of chance reinforces the fact that he has acted in accordance with his profession as an infantry captain, and, therefore, his capture is not the result of cowardice or an inherently shameful dereliction of duty, but simply ill fate. (8) The continued emphasis on chance throughout his narration represents an attempt both to ascribe meaning to what has happened to him and to articulate the psychological burden of captivity.

Even more meaningful, however, is how the Captain--already a victim of the wheel of fortune--becomes seemingly so convinced of the futility of his actions in the face of fate that he effectively comes to be a captive of his own inaction. Although there are instances which mitigate this despondency, it is significant to note the degree to which he depends on others (namely Zoraida and the Renegade) for his eventual freedom, The Captain's passivity is even more surprising if we consider once again his profession as a soldier who, by demonstrating exceptional initiative and leadership abilities, quickly rose to the rank of infantry captain. Besides relying on Zoraida for hatching the basic plan of escape and for providing the ransom money, the Captain says that he and his co-conspirators "hariamos todo cuanto nos aconsejaba [...] y que en ella sola estaba dilatar aquel negocio" (1.40:493). Beyond the logical reliance on the Renegade's linguistic abilities and contacts in Algiers, Ruy Perez is nearly as beholden to him as he is to Zoraida, and he frequently defers to the Renegade's authority as well. Even though the Captain and the other prisoners of the bagnios initially feared that the Renegade would reveal the escape plan and put their lives at risk if they did not accede to his insistence that he be the one to obtain the escape vessel, the Renegade continuously demonstrates his agency vis-a-vis the Captain's passivity. Besides leaving to secure the escape ship, it is the Renegade who directs the Captain and the other Christians to immobilize its Muslim crew before fetching Zoraida; who quickly runs to subdue Agi Morato after he awakens and discovers the Christians in his garden; who insists on taking Zoraida's father hostage to prevent his sending of a pursuit ship; and who gives the near fatal command to remain silent when summoned by the French vessel. While some of the Captain's inaction may be attributed to his chivalric devotion to and concern for Zoraida--he justifies not rushing to subdue her father by saying, "yo no ose desamparar a la Zoraida" (1.41:502)--it stands in stark contrast to the enterprising efforts of those to whom he owes his eventual liberation. This "melancolica pasividad de su destino aceptado" represents yet another symptom of the specter of captivity (Mirquez Villanueva, Personajes 122).

The height of the Captain's determined passivity in regards to his captivity, however, can be witnessed in his unwillingness to perform the very act which, in historic terms, would have promised him the greatest and most expedient chance at freedom: the writing of a letter to petition financial support for his ransom. While serving on a galley ship in the Mediterranean, he seems to recognize this as the most realistic means of regaining freedom while at the same time refusing to do so: "En todos estos trances andaba yo al remo, sin esperanza de libertad alguna; a lo menos, no esperaba tenerla por rescate, porque tenia determinado de no escribir las nuevas de mi desgracia a mi padre" (1.39:479-80). Soon thereafter, he repeats these intentions, adding that not only does he plan not to write to his father, but to no one at all: "yo vine de Constantinopla, algo contento, por estar tan cerca de Espana, no porque pensase escribir a nadie el desdichado suceso mio, sino por ver si me era mas favorable la suerte" (1.40:485). His refusal to act condemns the Captain to a longer and perhaps more brutal captivity; as he himself recognizes, when higher-value captives delay in negotiating a ransom, "entonces, por hacerles que escriban por el con mas ahinco, les hacen trabajar y ir por lena con los demas, que es un no pequeno trabajo" (1.40:485). As if that were not enough, however, his silence also constitutes a moral transgression by breaking an important promise to his father which, as we have seen, he and his brothers made upon leaving home: "encargandonos que les hiciesemos saber, todas las veces que hubiese comodidad para ello, de nuestros sucesos, prosperos o adversos. Prometimosselo" (1.39:475; my emphasis). The Perez de Viedma brothers have made a promise to keep in touch with their family no matter what adversity they might encounter; yet, shortly after being captured, the Captain matter-of-factly renounces this obligation. After hearing part of the Captain's story from the priest at the inn, the oidor openly expresses amazement at his older brother's carelessness:
   Vive aun mi padre, muriendo con el deseo de saber de su hijo mayor,
   y pide a Dios con continuas oraciones no cierre la muerte sus ojos
   hasta que el vea con vida a los de su hijo. Del cual me maravillo,
   siendo tan discreto, como en tantos trabajos y afliciones, o
   prosperos sucesos, se haya descuidado de dar noticia de si a su
   padre; que si el lo supiera, o alguno de nosotros, no tuviera
   necesidad de aguardar al milagro de la cana para alcanzar su
   rescate. (1.42:518-19)

For Juan Perez de Viedma, it is inconceivable that his brother would not apprise him or his father of his condition as promised, however deplorable or unfortunate it may have been. As an already established honorable soldier, and as--in the opinion of Zoraida (to whom he also makes a promise)--the only true Christian gentleman to have passed through the bagnios, his silence presents a striking contradiction for his brother and the reader as well: why does the good, honorable Captain betray his word?

The first clue to this question lies in the content of the very letter that the Captain refuses to write: "las nuevas de mi desgracia" (1.39:480). Covarrubias defines desgracia as "La mala suerte del que no pensava en ella. Desgracia y estar desgraciado, no traer entera salud. Desgraciarse, desavenirse, y tambien no estar bueno" (459). While evoking a concession to chance similar to that of the other words used to describe his fate, here we have an even more unfavorable and nearly pernicious portrayal of the Captain's condition. The connotations of both "no estar bueno" and (especially) "no traer entera salud" inscribe his disgrace with an almost pathological quality and accentuate the repercussions of an emotional event on the body. (9) These characterizations lay bare the specter of captivity and its salient mark of shame, manifested most strikingly in the Captain's desire to conceal his captivity from his father and fellow Spaniards. Similar to his appearance before the guests of the inn, here the Captain's shame is closely associated with metaphors and relationships of the (in)visible. In this case, the Captain imagines the shame that would be produced or intensified upon the father's reading of a petition for ransom, the specter of captivity embodied in the materiality of the letter. Ever conscious of this potentiality, the Captain forecloses such an event of recognition simply by remaining silent and--as it were--invisible.

If indeed the Captain's state of affective affliction, passivity, and desire to conceal his misfortune can be attributed to the manifold ways in which shame is brought to bear on his being, the question remaining to be answered is why he feels so ashamed of his captivity in the first place. The most apparent explanation is based on a sense of unfulfilled economic and familial obligations. In his discourse on Arms and Letters, Don Quijote says in reference to the letrado that "quien es pobre no tiene cosa buena" (1.37:467). Similarly, the Captain's father, upon instructing his sons to choose a profession, explains the three traditional career options in terms of reputation and economic wealth: "'Quien quisiere valer y ser rico, siga, o la Iglesia, o navegue, ejercitando el arte de la mercancia, o entre a servir a los reyes en sus casas'; porque dicen: 'Mas vale migaja de rey que merced de senor'" (1.39:474). In both of these examples, success and self-worth are essentially equated with material wealth, even though the most important life lesson is not to depend on anyone else for survival or personal prosperity. Despite the fact that "la guerra no de muchas riquezas," the elder Perez de Viedma continues, soldiers in poverty "son como monstruos que se ven raras veces" (1.39:473-74). Having relied upon his captors to survive the destitution of captivity (and Zoraida and the Renegade for his liberation), the Captain would seem to embody a monstrous instantiation of his father's admonition. In any event, it is clear that Juan Perez de Viedma, the man of letters, has been much more economically prosperous than his older brother. After observing him from a distance at the inn, the Captain recognizes this inequality and quite conspicuously expresses shame for his own impoverished appearance: "Pidioles consejo que modo tendria para descubrirse, o para conocer primero si, despues de descubierto, su hermano, por verle pobre, se afrentaba o le recebia con buenas entranas" (1.42:516; my emphasis). (10) Once again, shame impels the subject to conceal himself, yet here has the additional potential to affect others as though in the manner of a contagion. The use of the verb "afrentar" in Juan Perez's reaction indicates that the Captain fears his brother will also be ashamed: afrenta is closely associated with verguenza and is "el acto que se comete contra alguno en deshonor suyo" (Covarrubias 47). The specter of captivity, capable of passing from the captive to the other by means of the gaze, can thus be spread and contracted through the medium of the visible.

By constituting a significant economic burden for his family, the Captain's liberation through ransom would also imply an extension or circulation of the specter of captivity. This burden would be all the more pronounced by the father's prodigality and resultant division of his hacienda. As historian Robert C. Davis emphasizes, "The burden of raising a ransom obviously fell on well-to-do slaves as much as poor ones, but at least captives from comfortable backgrounds usually had a broad network of both relatives and financial institutions on which they could draw in this situation" (147). In addition to the purely economic burden, however, it seems that the Captain would feel shame before his loved ones due to the inherent conceptual burden of merely depending on others, something which, as his father expressed, is worse than poverty. With the notable exception of Zoraida and the Renegade, the self-reliant Captain tends to characteristically reject offers of assistance and favors. After telling his story at the inn, Don Fernando and the other prominent guests proffer their status and goodwill in order to facilitate the Captain's reintegration into society; a process which, tacitly proven by the very act of offering such assistance, will be less than straightforward. After years of being at the mercy of his captors and relying on them for his most basic human needs, his refusal of such a favor likely reveals an emphatic psychological desire for true independence after finally achieving freedom.

In addition to the familial and economic source, the Captain's shame originates in other important, if less conspicuous, aspects of his captivity, the first of these being his physical treatment. As mentioned earlier, although some writers of the early modern era were already advocating the humane treatment of prisoners, it would take several more centuries before a theoretical consensus on the issue was achieved. This discord was even more pronounced in practice. As Garces notes, "How captives were treated, in effect, depended on who their owners were. Some private owners in Algiers kept their captives fettered in dungeons; others regarded their slaves as members of their households whose living arrangements depended on their status in the house" (76). In his Topografia e historia general de Argel, Dr. Antonio de Sosa (a friend of Cervantes while both writers were imprisoned in Algiers) describes in graphic detail the more cruel punishments which some captives were forced to endure." Despite its literary embellishment and hyperbole, Sosa's meticulous account attests to the abuse to which captives in Algiers, if not victims themselves, would at least have been eyewitnesses. In addition to the physical torture, it is not difficult to imagine the degree of emotional trauma that such abuse and degradation could produce in its victim as well as in other captives who witnessed such acts. By referencing Cervantes's El trato de Argel, Ellen Friedman shows how even the most routine treatment of prisoners could elicit feelings of shame. In that work, "the mouth of a young captive was examined by a prospective purchaser to be sure he was healthy. It was not unusual for a potential buyer to demand that a captive disrobe, to see whether he had hidden defects. The entire procedure could be quite humiliating, but had to be endured by the captive" (57). In fact, the shaming inherent in the public exposure of a captive's treatment was historically exploited as a form of discipline in early modern Spain. These shame punishments were most visible in the autos de fe, in which apostates and heretics were forced to endure a public penance, as well as in the potent symbolism of the sambenitos, hung from parish churches as a visual reminder of the authority of the Inquisition. (12)

In "La historia del cautivo," the Captain for the most part reserves description of his own treatment in favor of that of others or of a more anonymous depiction of the general conditions of the bagnios. For example, he emphasizes the cruelty of Barbarroja's son toward his captives, but his use of the third-person plural pronoun leaves it unclear whether he himself was actually subjected to "la crueldad con que los trataba" (1.39:479). Nevertheless, as a slave on a galley ship, the Captain would most certainly have suffered, and it is significant that it is immediately following his description of this moment of his captivity ("En todos estos trances andaba yo al remo" [1.39:479-80]) that he first announces his intention not to write to his father. Ruy Perez de Viedma's most extensive depiction of his treatment is worth reproducing in its entirety:
   Tambien los cautivos del rey que son de rescate no salen al trabajo
   con la demas chusma, si no es cuando se tarda su rescate; que
   entonces, por hacerles que escriban por el con mas ahinco, les
   hacen trabajar y ir por lena con los demas, que es un no pequeno
   trabajo. Yo, pues, era uno de los de rescate; que como se supo que
   era capitan, puesto que dije mi poca posibilidad y falta de
   hacienda, no aprovecho nada para que no me pusiesen en el numero de
   los caballeros y gente de rescate. Pusieronme en una cadena, mas
   por serial de rescate que por guardarme con ella, y asi pasaba la
   vida en aquel bano, con otros muchos caballeros y gente principal,
   senalados y tenidos por de rescate. Y aunque la hambre y desnudez
   pudiera fatigarnos a veces, y aun casi siempre, ninguna cosa nos
   fatigaba tanto como oir y ver a cada paso las jamas vistas ni oidas
   crueldades que mi amo usaba con los cristianos. Cada dia ahorcaba
   el suyo, empalaba a este, desorejaba aquel, y esto, por tan poca
   ocasion, y tan sin ella, que los turcos conocian que lo hacia no
   mas de por hacerlo, y por ser natural condicion suya ser homicida
   de todo el genero humano. (1.40:485-86)

It is significant to note how the Captain continues to exclude himself from the description of the king's ransomable captives before abruptly returning to the first-person singular subject and identifying himselfas "uno de los de rescate."' (13) h is as if he glosses over what are perhaps the most shameful aspects of his captivity; in this case, the forced manual labor of collecting firewood with the more common captives. Another possible explanation for this self-exclusion is the Captain's skill in the narrative art: mindful of his noble audience, he is careful not to over-dramatize his story or seem too boastful. This sense of modesty, witnessed previously when he attributes his military promotion to luck instead of skill, is supported by his periphrastic description of the work as "un no pequeno trabajo." Also, by declaring his "poca posibilidad y falta de hacienda," he indicates his humble preference to forego any special treatment that his rank might offer. Finally, though admitting that "la hambre y desnudez pudiera fatigamos a veces, y aun casi siempre," he claims he is more disturbed by the cruel treatment of the Christians in general and the abuse of other captives, which he goes on to describe as a manifestation of the murderous nature of his master. In this way, he gains the sympathy and acceptance of his audience by reinforcing shared ideological conceptions of the enemy, in this case that of the Turks' extreme cruelty. The Captain's omission of the details of his physical treatment, just like his written silence in refusing to communicate with his family, is equally as telling as that which is overtly communicated, and is further evidence of shame's incitement to conceal. At the end of his narration, in fact, the Captain admits to his listeners that "el temor de enfadaros mas de cuatro circunstancias me ha quitado de la lengua" (1.41:513). Whether due to his modesty, his narrative talent, the perceptiveness of his audience, or simply to shame itself, it is not unrealistic to surmise that he has intentionally left out the most abusive moments of his captivity.

A third possible avenue for understanding the Captain's shame is the existence of a general societal stigma inscribed in the figure of the captive. In his extensive sociological study of slavery, Orlando Patterson concludes that, to one degree or another, captives and slaves across nearly all societies were stigmatized not only during bondage but after manumission as well. Even if the former captive was "[n]ominally granted almost complete equality, politically and legally, with 'free' persons, freedmen nonetheless remained stigmatized," and "[t]he stigma of former slavery meant that the freedman was rarely perceived as an equal" (Patterson 247). Thus the politico-legal recognition granted to former captives in Spain was not necessarily constitutive of broader social acceptance. Sosa affirms the existence of this stigma by describing the reaction of those who encounter someone they knew before his captivity:

si el desdichado se llega un poco a ellos, de tal suerte le reconocen y miran, y ansi le muestran un cierto olvido, un descuido, un como no acordarse del, como si el desventurado hombre fuera alguna cosa venida de nuevo mundo, incognita y nunca vista, y muchas veces se muestran del tan asquerosos y con tan gran fastidio y pesadumbre en hablarle, como si ellos perdiesen de su ser y reputacion en comunicarle, o como si la esclavitud con alguna metamorfosis estrana hubiese trasmutado en otro ser al pobre y desdichado captivo; finalmente, pasa muchas veces este negocio de tal suerte, y se muestran tan aborridos de solo mirar a un captivo, que ya no les falta mas que santiguarse en viendole. (Haedo 22.)

Such popular revulsion underscores the definition of shame as an emotional response informed by public opinion. Yet here the shameful stigma of captivity is so strong that it not only elicits fear of reputation for the captive himself, but also from anyone who happens to communicate with, go near to, or merely see the captive. The corrupting or contaminating influence of captivity is, as demonstrated earlier, contagious and therefore capable of being transmitted through a discursive interaction or visual recognition. (14) Garces recognizes the reality of this stigma as "the ambiguous space of those who returned to Spain 'tainted' by a long captivity in Barbary. [...] As literal revenants, brought back to life, the Barbary slaves were regarded by other Spaniards as 'tainted' or 'polluting'" (195). She locates the source of this "tainting" in the captive's encounter with death. Indeed, scholars have recently described slavery precisely as a form of "social death," a conception anticipated by Sosa's juridical definition of the captive as "un cuerpo muerto o sin ser" (Haedo 20). (15) Beyond embodying the mark of a stigma, the specter of captivity implies an ontological, vital evacuation of the subject--a phenomenon that portends grave legal, social, and emotional challenges and consequences for a former captive's reintegration and return to life.

The general stigmatization of former prisoners along with the shame produced by their physical treatment are unfortunately cross-cultural phenomena which are more or less observable independent of their historical context. The element of the Captain's shame that is most deeply enmeshed in the unique context of early modern Spain, however, is the stigma produced by what was considered the corrupting influence of Islam. The Captain would feel this burden simply because "his own status as a Christian would be contested by his experiences in Barbary. Like the men who returned to Spain after a long period of captivity, he would be suspected, along the lines of Zoraida, of belonging to the 'other side'" (Garces 211). As already seen, the religious tension produced by his physical appearance informs the Captain's self-consciousness and shame before the gaze of his fellow Spaniards at the inn. This phenomenon also recalls Erving Goffman's classic definition of stigma as the "bodily signs designed to expose something unusual and bad about the moral status of the signifier" (1). The sheer duration of the Captain's imprisonment, coupled with his refusal to write a ransom letter, would serve as further cause for suspicion. The character of the Renegade in "La historia del cautivo," of course, exhibits to an even larger degree these symptoms of the "tainting" nature of captivity while also serving as an explicit reminder of the religious tone of the episode. (16) Referred to as a "miembro podrido," the Renegade is expressly portrayed as a rotten limb which must be metaphorically severed to prevent the infectious spread of the Muslim religion. For Paul Julian Smith, the mere existence of the Renegade "suggests duplicity or deviance" (230). In this way, the Captain's association with and essential dependence on the Renegade further tarnish his reputation for moral and religious probity.

Nevertheless, the presence of the Renegade can alternatively be read as a foil for the Captain, as an even more shameful figure that accentuates the latter's moral triumph in a rigorous religious trial. Indeed, according to the information he chooses to provide in his narration, Ruy Perez de Viedma was never tempted to convert to Islam and thus maintained his honor and integrity in a place where it could have so easily been lost. As Willard King notes, "[l]a fe, el no renegar, se ensalza sobre cualquier otro valor para el espanol valiente" (285); as such, the Captain proves his valor not only in the tumult of the wartime Mediterranean, but, perhaps even more remarkably, in the face of the unrelenting temptations of the dungeons of Algiers. In this sense, "enslavement, for all its torments, could be cast in somewhat more affirmative terms, as a way in which God tested the faithful, proving the strength of their devotion in the hard forge of bondage" (Davis 176). This affirmative conception of captivity provides an alternative ethical explanation for the Captain's general passivity. As we have seen, on the one hand his reliance on fate as well as Zoraida and the Renegade indicates a sort of melancholic despondency; on the other hand, it can be conceived as a sort of penance for his shame in which his faith and morale are pushed to the breaking point. By refusing to actively fight against his captivity, the Captain in a sense demonstrates even greater valor, a circumstance that also produces an important aesthetic effect on the narrative action: "His situation in the tale must appear to be nearly hopeless in order to make Zoraida's intervention nearly miraculous" (Murillo 236). The Captain accepts Zoraida's plan of escape only after he has prevailed in the moral and religious trial of captivity.

Historically, in order to prove their faith and integrity, returning prisoners--especially renegades--were to present themselves before the Inquisition, a judicial process that Cervantes himself passed through. (17) The collection of cartas de fe, in which fellow captives attested to one's moral behavior during imprisonment, helped to ensure the former captive's acceptance back into Spain and reconciliation with the Catholic Church. Such testimonies can be seen as performing the dual function of satisfying the juridical and religious requirements of the Inquisition, while at the same time helping to free the former captive of an emotional burden. The Captain, on the other hand, does not have what could be considered the benefit of a relatively disinterested judicial evaluation or the written testimony of eyewitnesses. The only eyewitness to his captivity present, after all, is Zoraida; a woman who was raised a Muslim, has not yet been baptized, and, in any case, cannot speak the language. (18) Instead, the Captain has had to rely on his own rhetorical talent in order to prove the consistency of his moral and religious character to the de facto jury of the guests at the inn.

The rhetorical effectiveness of Ruy Perez de Viedma's story is evidenced by the fact that it continues uninterrupted while Don Quijote and company are, so to speak, held captive by the "Captive's Tale." There are several reasons why this is so, both for his listeners at the inn and for Cervantes's readers: its content is at once suspenseful, intriguing, heartrending, and fantastic, and yet not outside the Aristotelian realm of verisimilitude. Its inclusion of real historic events and figures not only lends credibility to the Captain's own past, but also provides his audience well-known references that make the story all the more relevant and interesting. (19) This aesthetic consideration extends to the Captain's self-portrayal which, as we have seen, is concerned with depicting a soldier who is both ethical and valiant, yet humble enough not to seem boastful. The amateur storyteller's awareness of his audience's noble composition, along with his intuition of their discerning taste, lead him to strike the perfect balance between, on the one hand, self-exaltation and modesty and, on the other, melodrama and pathos. In addition to content and form, the Captain also seems to endow his narration with just the right tone, beginning it with "voz agradable y reposada" (1.38:472), and concluding by demonstrating his knowledge of the correct way to close a rhetorical argument. As Don Fernando expresses, the Captain is ultimately successful in employing these elements and eliciting a positive response to his tale: "Por cierto, senor capitan, el modo con que habeis contado este estrano suceso ha sido tal, que iguala a la novedad y estraneza del mesmo caso [...] y es de tal manera el gusto que hemos recebido en escuchalle, que aunque nos hallara el dia de manana entretenidos en el mesmo cuento, holgaramos que de nuevo se comenzara" (1.42:514). The term modo in this remarkable critique is key in accounting for many of the aforementioned narratological talents of the Captain, and compels the rest of the guests to concur by offering him their assistance: "Cardenio y todos los demas se le ofrecieron con todo lo a ellos posible para servirle, con palabras y razones tan amorosas y tan verdaderas, que el Capitan se tuvo por bien satisfecho de sus voluntades" (1.42:514). In this way, the Captain shows, just as Zoraida did through her beauty, that thanks to his rhetorical expertise he has been able to "reconciliar los animos y atraer las voluntades" (1.37:463). This collective empathy for the Captain represents a partial transference of the emotional burden of captivity as well as a long awaited release of the tension produced by the couple's arrival.

Still, the specter of captivity nonetheless remains for the Captain, and his shame asserts itself most visibly with the subsequent arrival of his brother, the oidor. Once more, the Captain physically manifests his unmistakable shame by concealing himself and asking the priest to first "feel out" his brother before actually reuniting with him faceto-face. The former captive expresses his fear of sibling rejection, but, by virtue of yet another appraisal based on appearance, the priest is certain that the aidor will be prudent enough to distinguish between the results of inept or unethical behavior and those of simple misfortune. However, lacking confidence in his brother due to his own shame, the Captain insists on dissembling his true identity: "Con todo eso [...] yo querria, no de improviso, sino por rodeos, darmele a conocer" (1.42:517). Serving the Captain as promised, the priest eventually agrees to help ease the former captive's emotional anxiety and recounts his story to Juan Perez as though the Captain were not present at the inn. Averted from sight while voyeuristically observing his brother's reaction to the priest's story--just as Zoraida scrutinized him from outside the bagnios--the Captain, after hearing his long-lost brother's lament (which was cited above), ultimately summons the courage to step out and reveal his true identity. Juan Perez de Viedma, as an unconditionally loving family member, is able to look beyond the Captain's poverty and shameful stigma as a former captive in order to immediately accept him as his brother. Although the legal weight conferred by his profession as a judge is offset precisely by his familial relation to the object of his approval, his approbation relieves the expectant sadness among the rest of the guests and, after a tearful yet joyous reunion, "todos quedaron contentos y alegres del buen suceso del cautivo" (1.42:520). Juan Perez's acceptance of his older brother denotes a further relief from the specter of captivity for the latter and implies an equally emotive reunion with his father. Wonderfully underscoring the near unrepresentable quality of the affective weight of the scene, Cervantes's narrator concludes that "Las palabras que entrambos hermanos se dijeron, los sentimientos que mostraron, apenas creo que pueden pensarse, cuanto mas escribirse" (1.42:520).

The emotional intensity of the final scene's anagnorisis is enhanced for the reader by the important presence of the guests at the inn who, already having heard and passed judgment on the Captain's story, await its outcome in equal suspense. The narrative accumulation of this emotive tension--beginning with the captive himself and then transmitted through the various listeners of his story--produces an affective intensification for the reader. Yet the episode would have been even more profound for Cervantes's early modern readers who would have undoubtedly been aware of the practice of taking captives, and who may have even personally felt its effects by knowing a community or family member who had suffered imprisonment in Algiers. If a popular social stigma of captivity did indeed exist in early modern Spain, then the pathos produced by Cervantes's artful construction of this episode and its poignant finale could well have incited the reader to look beyond such a stigma, just as the guests of the inn came to do. Be that as it may, the characteristically happy ending of this narrative belies the reality of the cultural politics underlying the challenge of the former captive's eventual reintegration into the old Christian stronghold of Leon and Spanish society at large. For the conclusion of the episode defers to the reader's imagination the outcome of the events promised in the text: the Captain's reunion with his father, Zoraida's baptism, the couple's marriage, and their ultimate social acceptance or rejection. This implicit narrative irresolution performs what Meillassoux has called the "indelible defect" of captivity and the similarly irremediable qualities of intense emotions such as shame (qtd. in Patterson 38). Though such a climactic anagnorisis might appear to conceal the enduring specter of captivity, its quintessentially Cervantine irony at once can be seen to acutely acknowledge the bitter reality of the unresolved burden that would continue to confront the former captive. (20) The reader of part two of Don Quijote, with its powerfully emotive representation of the 1609 expulsion of the moriscos embodied in the character of Ricote, may well be even more cognizant of the artful inverisimilitude of the episode's joyful denouement.

Nevertheless, the Captain's ethical behavior during captivity and his rhetorical expertise in narrating his story are instrumental in procuring his eventual acceptance at the inn and fostering the generosity and support of his fellow countrymen. This virtuous behavior in turn is predicated to a large degree upon his affective responses to captivity, especially that of shame, an emotion that signifies the source of the specter of captivity while paradoxically producing--within the contines of what is explicitly revealed in the text--the ultimate relief from its burden. As an emotion which is intimately dependent on the recognition of the other, the Captain can be released from his shame only through his appearance before this other. Garces interprets Cervantes's writing as a crucial release from the trauma of his captivity, as a form of self-therapy in which his traumatic experience as a captive is gradually confronted and worked through. For this reason, Cervantes is compelled to return time and again to the theme of captivity in his literary works. Yet, his release from trauma does not depend on the reader of these works, since the very act of writing is precisely what, according to Garces, provides this release. Conversely, for the Captain (despite his initial reticence in speaking about his ordeal), the release from the specter of captivity depends directly on the need for an audience. Thus, in "La historia del cautivo" this essential necessity of the other opens a much larger discursive space in which the political, ethical, and affective elements of captivity are engaged, thereby prescribing the need to develop a public voice on a common social affliction. Returning to the Aristotelian conception of emotion not as a private exercise of the self but a dynamic interaction with others, the fundamentally social elements of the specter of captivity and the narrative space of its Cervantine representation call for an approach that is equally cognizant of the public dimensions of psychological and emotional affliction. In other words, instead of releasing trauma through the largely self-oriented process of artistic expression, the Captain's story suggests that the emotional burden of captivity may be more effectively worked through by means of a recognition by and exchange with an other. The dialogic nature of this exchange permits the free circulation of emotion and, therefore, contains the risk of contamination and contagion witnessed in the contraction of shame and the stigma of captivity. But at the same time it offers the possibility of a common cure.

An equally important acknowledgement of the other in "La historia del cautivo" is evidenced by the crucial roles of Zoraida and the Renegade--traditionally marginalized characters--as well as by the Captain's own otherness, which is embodied in his shame and in his conscious struggle with the specter of captivity. As a formative and affirmative experience, his confrontation with the other, as well as his ethical resolve during captivity, can be conceived as part and parcel of a broader ethos expounded by Cervantes. The author's decision not to portray the tribulations of captivity in their strongest intensity--unlike Sosa, for example--suggests an attempt to rescue a positive result from an otherwise detrimental and intractable event. In this way, captivity represents an effective medium for exploring the permutations and slippages between ethics and subjectivity, inviting the reader to consider the complexities of liberty alongside emotion, not to mention the values associated with family, economic prosperity, and social status. By staging the ethical repercussions of the stigma of captivity, Cervantes holds the contentious status of the captive up to scrutiny and tacitly calls for a collective reappraisal of a practice that so deeply permeated the consciousness of the early modern imaginary, political economy, and civil society. A better understanding of the affectivity that simultaneously imbricates, informs, and resists these registers is likewise productive in framing what is at stake not only in Cervantes's (con)text but in that which may lie underneath or even beyond it as well.

As Sokolon concludes, "Aristotle believes that shame compels the citizens to follow demands of justice internally, but most people do not feel similar shame when their government treats other peoples despotically or unjustly. In fact, most people are [...] shameless in their disregard of justice concerning other peoples" (124). Shame thus offers itself as a particularly provocative lens through which even contemporary issues concerning captivity and prisoners of war may be interrogated, a task whose urgency has been recently underscored by the ongoing debate among legal scholars and in popular media over the status of the prisoners of Guantanamo, the abuses of detainees at Abu Ghraib prison, and the government-sanctioned use of torture as a means of gathering intelligence. These shameful controversies serve as troubling reminders that, despite the theoretical comprehensiveness granted to prisoners of war in modern international accords such as the Geneva Conventions, in practice the body of the captive continues to be a synecdochical repository of imperial forces. These forces were constitutive of Cervantes's experience as a soldier and captive, inscribing his body with the mark of captivity and his body of work with the powerful affective valences that are necessarily produced as a result. His writing attests to the potency--aesthetic and political--of affects such as shame in articulating injustices and prescribing a communal approach to their engagement and resolution. By performing the Aristotelian conception of emotion not as a private quality of the self but as intimately dependent on the other, Cervantes invites us as readers to share in the circulation of these emotions and a public debate on the timeless ethical questions they pose.


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Murillo, L. A. "Cervantes' Tale of the Captive Captain." Florilegium Hispanicum: Medieval and Golden Age Studies Presented to Dorothy Clotelle Stark. Ed. J.S. Geary. Madison: Hispanic Seminary of Medieval Studies, 1983. 229-43.

Nussbaum, Martha C. Hiding from Humanity: Disgust, Shame, and the Law. Princeton: Princeton UP, 2004.

Patterson, Orlando: Slavery and Social Death: A Comparative Study. Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1982.

Roque Barcia, D. Primer diccionario etimologico de la lengua espanola. Vol. 1. Barcelona: Seix, 1902.

Sanchez, Alberto. "Revision del cautiverio cervantino en Argel." Cervantes 17.1 (1997): 7-24.

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Sieber, Diane E. "Mapping Identity in the Captive's Tale: Cervantes and Ethnographic Narrative." Cervantes 18.1 (1998): 115-33.

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Sokolon, Marlene K. Political Emotions: Aristotle and the Symphony of Reason and Emotion. DeKalb, IL: Northern Illinois UP, 2006.

Teijeiro Fuentes, Miguel Angel. Moros y turcos en la narrativa aurea (El tema del cautiverio). Caceres: Universidad de Extremadura, 1987.

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(1) I am grateful to Luis F. Aviles, Ivette Hernandez-Torres, and Santiago Morales-Rivera for their generous assistance and valuable feedback on this project.

(2) Likewise, the theme of captivity has been the object of several studies and continues to receive considerable scholarly interest today, particularly in the case of Cervantes. For a general treatment of the literary manifestations of captivity in the Golden Age and its precursors, see Camamis; and Teijeiro Fuentes. For a review of the numerous historiographic and biographical studies on the effects of Cervantes's captivity, see Sinchez. Maria Antonia Garces's Cervantes in Algiers: A Captive's Tale represents the most recent and exhaustive attempt at determining the effects of Cervantes's captivity on his writing, arguing that the trauma of this experience gave impetus to his literary works. I also highly recommend Francisco Marquez Villanueva's recent Moros, moriscos y turcos de Cervantes.

(3) Unfortunately, these connotations are all but lost in the English word captive; nevertheless, from this point forward I will venture to use primarily the terra captive in an attempt to remain faithful to the original usage of its Spanish equivalent and to avoid any confusion with the term prisoner of war which, within the modern international legal system, is defined by very specific juridical parameters. For the often blurry distinctions between the terms cautivo, prisionero, and esclavo, see Covarrubias; and Bums.

(4) Gundersheimer also notes that, although he "deals with shame in a somewhat perfunctory manner," Aristotle laid the groundwork for medieval and Renaissance understandings of the emotion: "While acknowledging the role of shame in distinguishing virtuous from vicious behavior," moral and ethical theorists "manifested little or no interest in reexamining the concept" (37). Although a consideration of the direct or indirect textual sources for early modern Spanish understandings of emotion would stray far beyond the scope of this essay, Aristotle's significant influence on later thinkers in this regard (in addition to his influence on Renaissance poetics) is another indication that Cervantes's notion of shame would not have been inconsistent with its Aristotelian precursors. For Aristotle's further discussion of the emotion of shame, see the Nicomachean Ethics (1128b10-35), the Magna Moralia (1193a1-10), and the Rhetoric (1383b12-1385a16).

(5) In the same article, Hutchinson addresses what he sees as the relative lack of critical approaches to the study of emotion in literature and, in particular, Cervantes's Don Quijote, arguing that "by and large, the problematic of literature and emotion has yet to be thought out." He goes on to say that "[c]ertain 'places' are more privileged than others as vantage points [...] and Cervantes's writings offer one such vantage point because they have so much to say about emotion" ("Dimensions" 74). i do not pretend to remedy this critical lacuna in Cervantes studies; however, I do hope to show in the present essay how "La historia del cautivo" represents particularly fertile ground for the study of emotion and a better understanding of the multifaceted importance of shame in early modern Spain.

(6) See especially Gonzalez Lopez.

(7) As Aviles acknowledges, this sentence further signals the religious tension of the episode: "Pero 'reconciliar' tiene un contenido religioso muy importante, ya que implica una breve o ligera confesion donde el penitente se reconcilia con la Iglesia. [...] H narrador nunca diria esto si no existiera un contenido de tension en toda la escena" (186-87).

(8) The aleatory nature of war has been recognized in a number of other theoretical and literary works. Consider, for example, Carl von Clausewitz: "No other human activity is so continuously or universally bound up with chance. And through the element of chance, guesswork and luck come to play a great part in war" (26). Similarly, in El Abencerraje the character of Rodrigo de Narvaez explains that "en la guerra los caballeros han de ganar y perder, porque los mas de sus trances estan subjectos a la fortuna" (138). Vitoria even echoes the Captain's description of his own plight by remarking that "la libertad y la cautividad se encuentran entre los bienes de la fortuna" (199-200).

(9) Aristotle's conception of shame, as Sokolon affirms, shares this corporeal imagery: "[t]he idea of shame [...] contains the connotation of personal disfigurement. In social disgrace, such disfigurement may not be physical disfigurement, but it is an observable ugliness" (Sokolon 109-10).

(10) This specific manifestation of familial and economic shame is expressly treated by Aristotle in his discussion of shame as well." "For Aristotle, it would be shameful [...] to not have a similar education or wage to those in [one's] faction or family" (Sokolon 115).

(11) Although traditionally attributed to Diego de Haedo, scholars have convincingly traced authorship of the Topografia to Dr. Sosa (Camamis, 124-50; and Garces, 32-34). Nevertheless, following convention I use "Haedo" in the citations.

(12) Shame punishments are also referenced in the episode of the galley slaves in Don Quijote when one of the prisoners is ashamed as a result of his punishment of "haber salido a la verguenza" (1.22:268). For more on the historical and contemporary uses of shame in the legal and penal systems, see Nussbaum.

(13) This passage is also significant in demonstrating how the captive is reduced to nothing more than a commodity or, as Hutchinson observes, "una especie de grado cero del valor personal" ("Cautivos" 81). Although futile for the Captain, who has renounced ransom as an option, the manual labor and chains serve a symbolic function to a greater economic end because "their captors thought it would be easier to obtain high prices for important captives if they were kept in miserable surroundings" (Friedman 71).

(14) Attempting to explain why, despite the considerable popularity of the topic, there existed no full-length novel dedicated to captivity, Antonio Rey Hazas speculates that "ello quiza se deba a que la sangrante realidad del cautiverio argelino--que estos cuentos desarrollaban, y acentuaban o no, segun la formula que adoptaran--imponia a sus autores cierto pudor, cierta verguenza que les llevaba a ensayar un espejismo de ocultacion, mediante su insercion en narraciones de mayor envergadura y tematica diferente" (qtd. in Teijeiro Fuentes 59). This rather provocative theory suggests that the contagious nature of the shame of captivity was so great that it extended into the narrative realm and over the author himself.

(15) For the concept of social death, see Patterson; and Meillassoux, Anthropology. Garces also claims that the captive is reduced to a "liminal persona": "The state of captivity, as well as the situation of the soldiers who inhabited the borderline between two cultures, transformed these individuals into transitional beings or 'liminal personae,' [...] the liminal persona is neither living nor dead from one aspect, and both living and dead from another, a definition that echoes Cervantes's and Antonio de Sosa's description of the captive as a 'dead being'" (190). These associations are somewhat ironic given "[el] concepto bien conocido en la jurisprudencia de aquellos tiempos, de que el estado de cautivo o esclavo nace de la conmutacion de la pena de muerte que el vencedor aplica al vencido" (Camamis 99). In other words, despite its juridical origins of being a more or less positive alternative to death, captivity ends up being conceived as an alternate form of death.

(16) For an exhaustive historical study of renegades in the early modern Mediterranean, see Bennassar and Bennassar.

(17) For Cervantes's testimony, collected in the Informacion de Argel, see Garces. According to the Decree of the Council of the Inquisition of 1528, this procedure seems straightforward and even welcoming: "delante los Inquisidores del partido donde fueren naturales, confiando e siendo ciertos que los dichos Inquisidores [a los renegados] los abracaran y recibiran a misericordia y los trataran muy benignamente sin les hazer verguenza alguna" (qtd. in King 281-82). Despite the official policy of not shaming former renegades, King goes on to question their acceptance by society at large: "No sabemos cuantos renegados se aprovecharon del edicto de la Inquisicion, ni tampoco se sabe si el proceso contra el renegado era tan benevolo como se prometia. [Algunos casos] parecen indicar que si fue facil la reconciliacion, pero la actitud del pueblo hacia el renegado reconciliado? De esto tampoco hay testimonio, pero en la comedia Los cautivos de Argel (escrita posiblemente en 1599 [...] quiza por Lope) se le advierte a un cristiano que piensa, como tantos, hacerse moro por un rato y luego volver a su primera fe, que si regresa puede estar seguro de ser despreciado por sus vecinos: '[...] Si me voy / a Espana, sere afrentado; / llamaranme el renegado, / afrenta a mis deudos soy; / nadie querra andar conmigo'" (King 282).

(18) Alternatively, Diane E. Sieber suggests that "Zoraida appears at the inn as an exotic artifact--as tangible evidence of the veracity of the Captive's narrative--and therefore that she serves much the same function as the written testimonials sought by the renegade in Algiers" (124).

(19) A contrasting example of this verisimilar credibility is the tale of the "false captives" of Persiles y Sigismunda, which Lisa Voigt treats along with an extensive examination of the value of truth in captivity narratives (40-98).

(20) Miguel Angel de Bunes Ibarra recognizes the historical reality of the challenges of reintegration confronting former captives: "Ni siquiera la libertad del apresado supone que se olviden las penalidades del pasado ya que no resulta infrecuente noticia de cautivos que al volver a Espana deciden volver a tierras musulmanas por no poderse integrar nuevamente en su antigua sociedad" (157).
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Author:Johnson, Paul Michael
Publication:Cervantes: Bulletin of the Cervantes Society of America
Date:Sep 22, 2011
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