Debra Currere

Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Weiner, Jack

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures


Cervantes Saavedra; Miguel de; 1547-1616. Novelas ejemplares; Cervantes Saavedra; Miguel de; 1547-1616--Characters--Criminals; Criminals in literature; Spain--In literature


This thesis explores the possibility that Las Novelas Eiemplares by Miguel Cervantes de Savaadra may be a window to the social conditions of the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries in Spain. Not only does Cervantes provide the reader a glimpse into the daily lives of his vivid protagonists, but through examining his direct and indirect characterizations we may, by incorporating modern sociological theory, also draw conclusions about the surrounding social environment. This process helps us to understand the causal and symbiotic relationship between the criminal subculture and the dominant society that existed in Spain of this era. The objective of this study was to merge the social theories of criminality, developed for the most part in this century, with what we know of historical social conditions to explain the causes of the general social disorganization from which there emerged the widespread criminality and marginality depicted within the pages of these stories. I have studied the character and sources of the cohesion that existed among members of the marginalized societies, theories of learned criminality, social causes of crime including ethnic stratification and alienation. In addition, I have explored the question of honor among thieves. The sociological theories along with historicial accounts and Cervantes? portrayals proved useful in understanding the reality in which and from which Cervantes wrote and drew his inspiration.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [62]-63)


vi, 63 pages




Northern Illinois University

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