Essay on Love Theme in Fuenteovejuna

Essay on Love Theme in Fuenteovejuna

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Discuss Lope's handling of the theme of love in Fuenteovejuna

Although from first view, Fuenteovejuna does not appear to be a love story, love

is a key theme running through. It is important to take into account how this love

is portrayed and how it relates to the moral of the story – if, in fact, there is one.

Lope de Vega has a clear Golden Age view on this theme and it will be crucial to

analyse how the era in which it was written influences how the audience

perceived it at the time in comparison with a modern day audience.

Two key features of Spanish Golden Age life were the ideas of honour and

harmony, and the theme of love could be incorporated into both of these. Honour

was not only important in literature, but in everyday life in the Golden Age. One

could be born with honour or gain honour and the main purpose of life would be

to maintain this honour.

In terms of Fuenteovejuna, Alex Ingber makes clear that “a peasant and

a nobleman were both susceptible to the threat of dishonour”.(1) Although a

Golden Age audience would see Frondoso’s threatening of the Comendador as

retaliation to preserve his honour, another perception of this act is that he

behaved in order to save the woman he loved. In this respect honour and love

cannot be separated.

In an era where common beliefs were being questioned – for example it had been

recently proven that the world orbited the sun – the western world supported the

belief that it was harmony that made the world as it is and people as they are.

Although scientific progress was accelerating and ...

... middle of paper ...

...s it about

the strong bond of love between these people sticking up for one another.

Perhaps this means that Spanish people these days do not see Fuenteovejuna as

a love story, but rather just as a story of social upheaval.(10)

The main point to consider when analysing Fuenteovejuna is whether Lope de

Vega wanted to portray love or harmony or whether, in fact, he regarded both as

one and the same. Through an uprising, the audience is introduced to characters

who convert into brave soldiers fighting not only for their safety, but also for the

love of the women who were targets of the Comendador and the need for

harmony within their village. It seems clear that Lope’s intention was not to write

a political play but actually to focus on human behaviour in which love has always

been, and will always be, an intrinsic theme.

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