Tres Comedias Ejemplares: Fuenteovejuna; el Caballero de Olmedo; el Castigo Sin Venganza

ISBN-10: 0192833375
ISBN-13: 9780192833372
Edition: 1999
List price: $14.95
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Description: Lope de Vega (1562-1635), widely regarded as the architect of the drama of the Spanish Golden Age, was known by his contemporaries as the `monster of Nature' on account of his creativity as a playwright. Claiming to have written more than a thousand  More...

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Book details

List price: $14.95
Copyright year: 1999
Publisher: Oxford University Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 5/6/1999
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 352
Size: 5.25" wide x 7.75" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.638

Lope de Vega (1562-1635), widely regarded as the architect of the drama of the Spanish Golden Age, was known by his contemporaries as the `monster of Nature' on account of his creativity as a playwright. Claiming to have written more than a thousand plays, he created plots and characters notable for their energy, inventiveness and dramatic power, and which, in contrast to French classical drama, combine the serious and the comic in their desire to imitate life. Fuente Ovejuna, based on Spanish history, and revealing how tyranny leads to rebelliion, is perhaps his best-known play. The Knight from Olmedo is a moving dramatization of impetuous and youthful passion which ends in death. Punishment without Revenge, Lope's most powerful tragedy, centres on the illicit relationship of a young wife with her stepson and the revenge of a dishonoured husband. These three plays, grouped here in translations which are faithful to the original Spanish, vivid and intended for performance, embody the very best of Lope's dramatic art.

Lope de Vega was the creator of the national theater in Spain, and his achievements in drama are comparable in many respects to those of Shakespeare in England. Lope embraced all of Spanish life in his drama, combining strands of previous Spanish drama, history, and tradition to produce a drama with both intellectual and popular appeal. A prodigious writer whom Cervantes called the "monster of nature," Lope is attributed by his biographer with nearly 2,000 plays, 400 religious dramas, and hundreds of pieces of poetry and literature in every form. He was also involved throughout his life in numerous amorous and military adventures and was ordained as a priest in 1614. In his didactic poem New York Art of Writing Plays (1609), Lope defined his primary purpose as entertainment of the audience. He recommended a three-act play in which the outcome is withheld until the middle of the third act, when the denouement should be swiftly developed. Maintaining that the possibilities of classical theater had been exhausted, he advocated casting Terence and Plautus aside, that is, abandoning the classical unities. His definition of drama was eclectic, admitting combinations of comedy and tragedy, noble and lower-class characters, a variety of verse forms as demanded by different situations, and a wide panoply of themes---national, foreign, mythological, religious, heroic, pastoral, historical, and contemporary. His major strength was the execution of plot; he created no character of the depth or complexity of Shakespeare's major figures. He captured the essence of Spanish character with his treatment of the themes of honor, Catholic faith, the monarchy, and jealousy. In Peribanez (1610?), a lower-class hero is shown to be more honorable than a nobleman. King Henry the Just, a fictional creation, pardons Peribanez for his revenge killing of the nobleman who contrived to dishonor him by abusing his new bride. In Fuente Ovejuna, a play based on an event narrated in the Spanish chronicles, the people resist a cruel overlord, refusing to join the army he tries to mount against King Ferdinand and Queen Isabel. After the overlord interrupts a village wedding, the townspeople of Fuente Ovejuna collectively murder him and finally receive pardon and gratitude from the Catholic kings. Toward the end of his life Lope lost popularity, but all of Madrid attended his funeral, and his death was mourned throughout Spain. Albert Camus adapted his play, The Knight of Olmedo (1623?), for French-speaking audiences.

Introduction
The Staging of Golden Age Plays
Translator's Note
Select Bibliography
Chronology of Lope De Vega's Life
Fuente Ovejuna
The Characters of the Play
The Knight from Olmedo (el Caballero De Olmedo): A Tragicomedy*
The Characters of the Play
Punishment Without Revenge (el Castigo Sin Venganza): A Tragedy*
The Characters of the Play
Explanatory Notes

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