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Lope de Vega's `Comedias de tema religioso': Re-creations and Re-presentations

Lope de Vega's `Comedias de tema religioso': Re-creations and Re-presentations

Elaine M. Canning
Series: Monografías A
Copyright Date: 2004
Edition: NED - New edition
Published by: Boydell and Brewer,
Pages: 162
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7722/j.ctt9qdnp4
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  • Book Info
    Lope de Vega's `Comedias de tema religioso': Re-creations and Re-presentations
    Book Description:

    Lope de Vega's religious plays are a distinctive part of his output, but little scholarly work is available on them. This study focuses on five plays, La hermosa Ester, the Isidro plays, Lo fingido verdadero and La buena guarda. Within the context of the seventeenth-century stage, Canning examines Lope's manipulation of religious material, and his treatment of socio-literary themes - love, the role of women - and the way in which they are employed to generate audience reception. She considers the relationship between religious drama and metatheatre, focusing on Lope's techniques for highlighting the illusory nature of life and the relationship between lo verdadero and lo divino, concepts which lie at the heart of the theocentric world view of seventeenth-century Spain. The conflicting imperatives of human and divine love and the issue of identity are features of all of the plays. And she shows that the interplay between illusion and reality and the relationship between playwright and audience are crucial to Lope's dramatic output. ELAINE CANNING lectures in Spanish at the University of Wales, Bangor.

    eISBN: 978-1-84615-272-6
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-v)
  3. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
    (pp. vi-vi)
  4. ABBREVIATIONS
    (pp. vii-viii)
  5. INTRODUCTION
    (pp. 1-6)

    While the secular drama of Lope Félix de Vega Carpio (1562–1635) has attracted much critical attention, hiscomedias de tema religiosoconstitute a corpus of his works which has been largely neglected. Traditionally, Lope de Vega’s religious plays have been analysed and categorised in terms of their biblical or hagiographical content alone. Ménendez y Pelayo, for example, divides them into two groups –Comedias de asuntos de la sagrada escritura, andComedias de vidas de santos– and does not attempt to study them beyond their religious framework.¹ It is possible that works like that of Menéndez y Pelayo,...

  6. PART I: RE-CREATION AND RE-PRESENTATION:: THE CASES OF ESTHER AND ISIDRO

    • 1 LA HERMOSA ESTER AND THE RE-CREATION OF THE BIBLICAL ESTHER
      (pp. 9-43)

      Any dramatist writing during Spain’s Golden Age was acutely aware that he was writing for a public obsessed byfe, salvación, gracia divina, condenaciónand of courseDios. Bartolomé Bennassar claims that ‘las cuestiones de la fe preocupaban en las conversaciones corrientes, en las plazas, a lo largo de los caminos’.¹ The establishment of the Inquisition in Spain in 1478 to maintain religious homogeneity throughout the Peninsula, coupled with the Council of Trent’s efforts to christianise the masses from the mid-sixteenth century onwards, obviously contributed to the religious fanaticism which swamped Spain in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.² Within this...

    • 2 THE RE-PRESENTATION OF MADRID’S PATRÓN IN LA NIÑEZ DE SAN ISIDRO AND LA JUVENTUD DE SAN ISIDRO
      (pp. 44-84)

      In spite of the fact that Isidro was not canonised until 1622, he was popularly acclaimed saint andpatrón de Madridfrom the beginning of the thirteenth century when his body was transferred from the cemetery of San Andrés to the altar of the church.¹ According to Francisco Moreno, ‘Sin esperar a que la autoridad eclesiástica correspondiente diese el oportuno visto bueno, muchos hombres y mujeres de Madrid, a la vista de los milagros hechos, según el diácono Juan, el mismo día del traslado, le concedieron espontáneamente en privado y públicamente el honroso título de santo, y empezaron a considerarle...

  7. PART II: DRAMATISING THE DRAMATIC:: METATHEATRE AND THE COMEDIA DE TEMA RELIGIOSO

    • 3 METATHEATRE AND THE SPANISH COMEDIA RELIGIOSA: AN OVERVIEW
      (pp. 87-94)

      With the publication of Lionel Abel’s seminal work on metatheatre,² critics were provided not only with a basic definition of the concept of metadrama, but also with specific terminology with which to analyse self-referential plays.³ According to Abel, metaplays are

      Theatre pieces about life seen as already theatricalized. By this I mean that the persons appearing on the stage in these plays are there not simply because they were caught by the playwright in dramatic postures as a camera might catch them, but because they themselves knew they were dramatic before the playwright took note of them. What dramatized them...

    • 4 LO FINGIDO VERDADERO AS METAPLAY
      (pp. 95-127)

      Lo fingido verdadero, described by Menéndez y Pelayo as ‘de las más notables del repertorio religioso de Lope’, was probably written about 1608, but first appeared in print inDecimasexta parte de las comediasin 1621.¹ Traditionally categorised as acomedia de santos, it is essentially a dramatisation of the conversion and martyrdom of St Genesius, patron saint of actors, as well as the representation of the rise to power of the Roman emperor Diocletian.² Act I of the play presents Diocleciano’s transition from soldier to emperor following the deaths of the emperor Aurelio and his sons Carino and Numeriano....

    • 5 DOÑA CLARA – SAINT OR SINNER? ROLE-PLAYING WITHIN THE ROLE IN LA BUENA GUARDA
      (pp. 128-138)

      Written in 1610 and first published in 1621,La buena guardapresents the plight of Clara,abadesa, who is forced to confront the effects of both human and divine love.¹ Based on the legend of themonja sacristana, a devoted nun who abandons the monastery with her lover and who is replaced by the Virgin or an angel in her absence,La buena guardafocuses on the flight of Clara with Félix, themayordomo.² The play opens with a diatribe against female vanity as Carrizo, thesacristánof themonasterio, criticises the female preoccupation with physical appearance.³ Subsequently, the action...

  8. CONCLUSION
    (pp. 139-140)

    While this study consists of two discrete parts, together they offer a coherent analysis of the origins and key features of Lope’scomedias de tema religioso. In part I, it is evident that through the re-creation of his models, Lope is able to generate a variety of forms of audience reception, as well as to re-create identifiable and instructive images of the biblical Esther and Isidro. InLa hermosa Ester, the reconstruction of episodes taken from the Book of Esther enables Lope to problematise socio-literary themes such as love, honour and the role of woman. In addition, susceptibility to a...

  9. APPENDIX: LOPE’S COMEDIAS DE TEMA RELIGIOSO
    (pp. 141-141)
  10. BIBLIOGRAPHY
    (pp. 142-150)
  11. INDEX
    (pp. 151-153)