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Abstract

In her article "The Sin of Pride in Dressing Bodies in Spanish and Anglo-American Ballads" Ana Belén Martínez García argues that trying to decipher the reasons for characters to dress in a certain way may help discover the underlying sociocultural mechanisms that prevail. The author aims to reveal the gender divide associated to clothing through a comparative approach towards popular literature in Spanish and English. She uses Judith Butler's theory of performative acts in order to conduct the text analysis. Clothes-related acts feature prominently in the case of popular balladry. Spanish "romances" and Anglo-American ballads are poems that were and are still meant to be orally performed. Therefore, the audience plays a key role on transmission and retransmission, which in turn shape societal mores. The discussion shows how certain gender-associated topics have been left intact, particularly the bias against women's vanity. The conclusions that are set forward will hopefully be of use to the literary reader–scholar who is interested in new ways of looking at oral traditions of different languages and nations, sharing a common European background.