Essay on Spanish Theater: Lorca and Valle-Inclán

Essay on Spanish Theater: Lorca and Valle-Inclán

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Valle-Inclán and Lorca have been two of the most influential and important figures of the twentieth century Spanish theatre. During their time, the theatre was primarily made up of bourgeois theatregoers who did not take pleasure in thought-provoking plays, but preferred a theatre that was conventional and contemporary. Both Valle and Lorca departed from convention and showed freedom in their style of writing, earning the reputation of dramatists of utmost importance, respect and originality, who not only brought new artistic trends to the Spanish theatre, but also embodied the signs of change and hope for the Spanish stage and society.

Valle-Inclán’s most significant contribution to the Spanish theatre is his invention of the literary style of ‘esperpento’, which is best represented in his most famous play, ‘Luces de Bohemia’. He created the ‘esperpento’ with the aim of exposing the harsh realities of twentieth century Spanish society through the concave lens of grotesque deformation, so that he could present the conditions of Spain in the light of mockery and absurdity, especially highlighting the attack ‘against institutionalization, commercialization and the progressive ‘bourgeoisification’ of life and society’. While he was writing this play, the Spanish society was ‘undergoing a disintegration of its constitutional monarchy’ under Alfonso XII due to social unrest, and brought to stagnation along with the lack of political and social progress. Consequently, this turbulent political situation has steered Valle towards his literary evolution - the exaggerated grotesque, which he thought to be the only suitable way to represent the shocking reality of Spain and the public attitude. In this way, he could overwhelm the nation o...


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...ales de la literatura española contemporánea (Society of Spanish & Spanish-American Studies, 1999)
Edwards, Gwynne, Dramatists in Perspective. Spanish Theatre in the Twentieth Century (University of Wales Press, 1986)
González del Valle, Luis, La tragedia en el teatro de Unamuno, Valle-Inclán y García Lorca (Eliseo Torres & Sons New York, 1975)
Lima, Robert, The Theatre of García Lorca (Las Americas Publishing Company, 1963)
Manglano, Luis Molero,Teatro Español contemporaneo (Editora Naciona, 1974)
Ríos-Font, Wadda C.,Rewriting Melodrama (Bucknell University Press, 1997)
Shaw, Donald L.,The Generation of 1898 in Spain (Barnes & Noble, 1975)
Tyler, Daniel James, Federico García Lorca’s ‘Impossible’ Theatre Staged. MA thesis, (University of Birmingham, 2011)
< http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/3308/1/Tyler12MPhil.pdf>

Warner, Robin, Yerma. (Manchester University Press, 1994)

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