El arte del equívoco en Las damas del vellón de Quiñones de Benavente
Las damas del vellón (The Ladies of Money) is an interlude written by the master of the Spanish Golden Age minor theater Quiñones de Benavente, which parodies a ceremony of the chivalric Order of the Golden Fleece, based on the double meaning of the word vellón (copper coin and sheepskin). This witty play illustrates the recurrent financial crisis caused by the policy of war of the Spanish Empire and the splendor of its court, especially in 1627, with a devaluation of over fifty per cent of copper currency. Using an allegory, the performance denounces the loss of the moral values based on the symbology of the famous chain of the Golden Fleece. This study aims to show how the literary device of ambiguity permits both to amuse and to depict a kingdom whose prince and ministers are involved in robbery, as expressed by Juan de Mariana in El tratado de la moneda de vellón and Quevedo in El Chitón de la tarabillas.