115th Annual Conference - Honolulu, Hawaii
Friday, November 10 - Sunday, November 12, 2017

The Contrasting Role of the Gracioso in The Truth Cannot Be Trusted and One House Many Complications 

Andrea Montoya, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

This paper analyzes the contrasting role of the gracioso in The Truth Cannot Be Trusted by Juan Ruiz de Alarcón and One House Many Complications by Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz.


In Juan Ruiz de Alarcón’s The Truth Cannot Be Trusted, his main protagonist don Garcia has his trusted servant Tristan. In Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz’s One House, Many Complications, her main protagonist don Carlos has his loyal servant Castaño. Both of these servants play particular roles in retrospect to their masters and in turn, conduct the play into different directions. Throughout this essay, I argue that there are a multitude of similarities and contrasts between the hero/sidekick complex of don Garcia and his servant Tristan in comparison to don Carlos and his servant Castaño.

According to Lope de Vega, Arte nuevo de hacer comedias (1609) one of the main focuses of the new comedy was to increase the entertainment level for the audience in attendance. As don Garcia’s servant, Tristan remains loyal to his master; however, he also keeps his father informed regarding his not-so-honorable lying antics.  Castaño is loyal with don Carlos, by completely humiliating other play characthers such as don Pedro --and playing a key role as a comic figure within the play.