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Copyright Date: 2010
Published by: Yale University Press
Pages: 192
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  • Book Info
    Book Description:

    Lope de Vega "single-handedly created the Spanish national theatre," writes Roberto González Echevarría in the introduction to this new translation ofFuenteovejuna. Often compared to Shakespeare, Molière, and Racine, Lope is widely considered the greatest of all Spanish playwrights, andFuenteovejuna(The Sheep Well) is among the most important Spanish Golden Age plays.

    Written in 1614,Fuenteovejunacenters on the decision of an entire village to admit to the premeditated murder of a tyrannical ruler. Lope masterfully employs the tragicomic conventions of the Spanishcomediaas he leavens the central dilemma of the peasant lovers, Laurencia and Frondoso, with the shenanigans of Mengo, thegraciosoor clown. Based on an actual historical incident,Fuenteovejunaoffers a paean to collective responsibility and affirmation of the timeless values of justice and kindness.

    Translator G. J. Racz preserves the nuanced voice and structure of Lope de Vega's text in this first English translation in analogical meter and rhyme. Roberto González Echevarría surveys the history ofFuenteovejuna, as well as Lope's enormous literary output and indelible cultural imprint. Racz's compelling translation and González Echevarría's rich framework bring this timeless Golden Age drama alive for a new generation of readers and performers.

    eISBN: 978-0-300-16872-3
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
    (pp. vii-xxvi)
    Roberto González Echevarría

    Cervantes memorably called Lope de Vega a “monster of nature,” marveling at his stupendous literary production and how he lorded over not just the theater but most literary activity in the Spain of the turn of the seventeenth century.¹ He was not exaggerating. Lope wrote hundreds of plays, perhaps seven hundred, many of them masterpieces, thousands of poems of all kinds, including lyric, epics, as well as novels, epistles, and polemics. He singlehandedly created the Spanish national theater, founding a school that lasted until the end of the seventeenth century and beyond. Lope’s work is on a par with the...

  4. List of Characters
    (pp. 1-2)
  5. ACT I
    (pp. 3-34)

    [A room in the mansion of Rodrigo Téllez Girón, Master of the Order of Calatrava]

    (Enter the Commander, Fernán Gómez de Guzmán, with his retainers Flores and Ortuño.)

    COMMANDER: The Master knows I mark my time

    Awaiting him.

    FLORES: Indeed, he does.

    ORTUÑO: He’s more mature, sir, than he was.

    COMMANDER: Enough to be aware that I’m

    Still Fernán Gómez de Guzmán?

    FLORES: He’s just a boy. Don’t take this wrong.

    COMMANDER: He has to have known all along

    The title that’s conferred upon

    Me is Commander of the Ranks.

    ORTUÑO: His counselors undoubtedly

    Incline him toward discourtesy.

    COMMANDER: This...

  6. ACT II
    (pp. 35-66)

    [The town square in Fuenteovejuna]

    (Enter Esteban and Village Alderman Cuadrado.)

    ESTEBAN: We’ve still abundant stocks of wheat reserved

    But really mustn’t raid our granaries more.

    These recent forecasts have us all unnerved

    And I believe our strength lies in this store

    Though some don’t see what good these stocks have served.

    CUADRADO: I’ve always been of one mind on this score;

    Abundance means there’s governance in peace.

    ESTEBAN: We’ll tell Fernán Gómez, then, this must cease.

    These fool astrologers do irritate!

    Though ignorant of the future, they’ve a hoard

    Of unconvincing prattles that relate

    Grave secrets vital only to...

  7. ACT III
    (pp. 67-100)

    [The council chamber in Fuenteovejuna]

    (Enter Esteban, Alonso, and Barrildo.)

    ESTEBAN: What’s keeping them?

    BARRILDO: They know full well we wait.

    ESTEBAN: Assembling here grows riskier by the hour.

    BARRILDO: Most everyone’s heard why we congregate.

    ESTEBAN: With poor Frondoso captive in the tower

    And my Laurencia under such duress,

    If God does not do all within His power …

    (Enter Juan Rojo and Cuadrado.)

    JUAN ROJO: Why raise your voice, Esteban, when our chief

    Aid must be stealth if we’re to have success?

    ESTEBAN: My false restraint should bring none here relief.

    (Enter Mengo.)

    MENGO: I’ll slip into the...

  8. NOTES
    (pp. 101-104)
    (pp. 105-106)