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The Legend of Bernardo del Carpio From Chronicle to Drama von Burton, David G. (eBook)

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The Legend of Bernardo del Carpio

Comedia de la libertad de Españ;a por Bernardo del Carpio, a play written in 1579 by Juan de la Cueva, is based upon events in the life of the legendary hero of the Spanish Middle Ages. Professor Burton demonstrates in this first complete study of the play that Cueva goes beyond the mere presentation of Bernardo del Carpio and his victory over Charlemagne and the French army at Roncesvalles. The study is important in the criticism of the early Spanish Theater because it shows that Cueva imbued his play with many levels of meaning, as the exultation of a national hero, as a political allegory of Philip lI's attempt to add Portugal to the Spanish crown, as a triumph of virtue over vice, and, at its heart, as a statement of faith in which forgiveness and the promise of redemption follow sin and repentance. "Burton deserves thanks for his interesting analysis of Cueva's style. Future Bernardo studies will have to take this work into consideration."- Anthony J. Cárdenas, Journal of Hispanic Philology.


    Format: PDF
    Kopierschutz: AdobeDRM
    Seitenzahl: 96
    Sprache: Englisch
    ISBN: 9780916379544
    Verlag: Digitalia
    Größe: 3753kBytes
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The Legend of Bernardo del Carpio

Chapter I The Life and Works of Juan de la Cueva (p. 3)

Juan de la Cueva, a remarkable sixteenth-century Spanish playwright, was possessed of an appréciation of thé history of his country as well as thé cultural, political, and religious tides of his native Seville in his own day. Combining thèse attributes with a keen sensé of drama, he was thé first Spanish dramatist to utilize Spain`s médiéval chronicles and rich ballad tradition as source material for dramatic stories.

He was also thé first to break out of thé constraints of thé rules of composition relating to thé unities of time and place. Following thé précèdent set by Bartolomé de Torres Naharro, Cueva made use of words, accents, and action appropriate to a given situation. Finally, he pioneered thé use of drama for teaching and for advocacy.

Cueva used historical fact and tradition to encourage political and patriotic action and to make moral and religious statements. In so doing, he is a singularly important link in thé evolutionary chain of thé Spanish national drama prior to Lope de Vega.

It is thé confluence of his use of chronicled history, of his decorous writing, and of his advocacy and persuasion in Cornedia de la libertad de Espana por Bernardo del Carpio which provided thé stimulus for this study.

In order that Cueva`s views and motivations may be understood - or at least made thé subject of reasonable inference - a brief considération of his life, of his place within an historical continuum, and of his works is in order.

Biographical data pertaining to this sixteenth-century Spanish dramatist and poet, at best sketchy, are difficult to find.

Until very recently researchers had failed to uncover Cueva`s baptism and burial certificates, and had relied on thé scholarship of thé nineteenth-century Swedish Hispanist Fredrik Wulff, who, in 1886, postulated Cueva`s birth to hâve been around thé year 1550 in Seville.

Then, in 1980, José Maria Reyes Cano found and published Cueva`s baptismal certificate which places his birth in thé early fall of 1543. Although many other exact dates in Juan de la Cueva`s life are missing, Cueva himself supplies various pièces of thé biographical puzzle throughout his works.

In thé genealogical poem Historia y suces/on de la Cueva (1604) Juan de la Cueva narrâtes thé history of his noble family from thé fifteenth century when King Henry IV made Beltrân de la Cueva thé first Duke of Alburquerque. In thé conclusion of thé poem Cueva praises his father, Martin Lôpez de la Cueva, his six sisters, and his one brother, Claudio.

He also exhibits pride in his renowned cousins Andrés Zamudio de Alfaro, a physician to King Philip II, who wrote a treatise on Seville`s pestilence of 1568, and Luciano de Negrôn, son of a prosecuting attorney for thé Council of Castile, who "achieved prominence in Seville as preacher, humanist and poet."

It thus appears that Juan was born into and nurtured by a family which counted among its members a royal physician, preachers, poets, and an Inquisitor. His apparent prédisposition toward church and toward writing is not surprising in one born to an intellectual family in Spanish society of that time.

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