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  • Author(s): Grubbs, Anthony John1
  • Source:
    Bulletin of the Comediantes. 2006, Vol. 58 Issue 2, p340-357. 17p.
  • Additional Information
    • Subject Terms:
    • Subject Terms:
    • Abstract:
      Innovation and conflict have always characterized early modern Spanish theater. The dramatic text, transformed and reincarnated with each interpretation onstage, was in a constant state of flux in the Golden Age and a number of dramatic poets of the day wrote both for the stage and about the changes it was undergoing. Furthermore, as a result of the commercialization of theater during the last half of the sixteenth century, the production and the representation of plays began to diverge from the earlier secular contexts of courtly entertainment and from the didactic scope of religious dramas. The Comedia, a new, mixed-genre form, still entertained nobles and taught a moralizing lesson, but as the public and theatrical spaces changed, so did the dramatic landscape of early modern Spain, and a more heterogeneous public went to see plays in the newly constructed and permanent corrales de comedias. The formation of this theater-going public presented challenges for the dramatic poet, who was forced to face the new and changing needs and expectations of the audience. Most Spanish Golden Age playwrights met this challenge head on, changing with the times; among the many great dramatists of the era, Félix Lope de Vega Carpio stands out as he embraced the existing--and evolving--dramatic tradition and molded it into what we know as the Comedia, successfully establishing it as the prominent theatrical form of seventeenth-century Spain. Lope has sparked abundant critical commentary and study since the seventeenth century. The evolution of critical and theoretical approaches has led a number of critics to reexamine Lope's dramatic texts and their guiding principles. Influential studies in the areas of metatheater, audience reception, and performance have further generated the possibility of new interpretations of the Comedia, opening vistas that expand our understanding of the dramatic form. In this essay I examine Lope's Arte nuevo and discuss its dramatization in the coetaneous play Lo fingido verdadero to illustrate Lope's interest in performance and reception as seen in both types of works, as well as his desire to disseminate non-traditional techniques and ideas to a wide audience. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]