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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