History of Western Theatre: 17th Century to Now/Spanish Realist

History of Western Theatre: 17th Century to Now/Spanish Realist

José Echegaray was the dominant dramatist of late 19th century Spanish theatre

The key playwright of late 19th century Spanish theatre is José Echegaray (1832–1916), notably for “El gran Galeoto” (The good Galeoto, 1881), “Mariana” (1891), and “El hijo de Don Juan” (Don Juan’s son, 1892).

The time period “Galeoto” refers back to the go-between who united in adultery Lancelot and Guinevere, King Arthur’s queen. “Notice the denouement of the play. See how adroitly the dramatist accomplishes the factor he has taught you to hope for even whereas he hints it’s a detestable factor to occur. How subtly this promotes Suspense. The incessant clamor of calumny has borne its fruit. Throughthe mutual protection of their innocence these two mortals have been inevitably certain collectively. The bombastic artifice of the dialogue is once more buried within the final finish of our innermost expectations. For we have now secretly hoped that these two harmless creatures could be united, regardless that it required the dying of the husband to permit the identical” (Anthony, 1914 p 487). “We’re given to know that the younger spouse and the adopted son are usually not solely harmless of any considered evil, however would have remained so had they not been pushed to desperation by the torture of the merest small speak— not slander, however listless, aimless, dispassionate gossip…The one tragedy of gossip in dramatic literature- mark the way it stands halfway between comedy of gossip and tragedy of slander- is the work of Echegaray” (Hunt, 1913 pp 38-40). “Calumny tends to make actual no matter it assumes. Speak scandal regarding an harmless man and girl, and also you go far towards making them responsible. The scandalmongering crowd is the good go-between, the ‘nice Galeoto’, forcing collectively these whom it possibilities to bind in suspicion” (Chandler, 1914 p 319). “Besides within the third act of Othello, I do know not the place to discover a parallel for the inevitableness of the method by which, with out the intervention of any Iago, [Julian] is swept by all of the shades of feeling between the serenest religion and the wildest jealousy” (Archer, 1897 pp 44-45). Nirdlinger (1899) lauded the story’s intrinsic curiosity. “The place, in all of the vary of the fashionable drama, is there a play that surpasses this product of Echegaray’s genius in common curiosity of theme? The refined, insidious, inevitable mischief of scandal— underneath what solar, amongst what males, in what caste of life, in what circumstances of intelligence and thought would that topic need enchantment and sympathy? What extra large and thrilling motive than the exposition of a tragedy wrought by the merest trifles- a look, a shrug of the shoulders, a careless phrase of gossip, a flippant allusion? A person and girl thrown into one another’s arms, totally regardless of themselves, by the fiendish prowess of such bagatelles! The arch ardour flaming up in quiescent souls that, unfanned by scandal, would have flickered on endlessly, harmlessly, innocently, in ignorance of their latent sentiments” (p 215). “The tradition-oriented society has not solely undermined the integrity of the person, however has additionally sacrificed the nobler facets of conventional honor to the baser idea of honor as opinion. Echegaray, on this work, provides proof of a shift from honor as a optimistic drive in society to honor as a harmful drive” (Podol, 1972 p 57).

The rigidly censorious Winter (1913) acknowledged that “in seeing ‘Mariana’, “the observer noticed the wooing, and what got here of it, of a classy, egotistical, boastful, egocentric, insupportable younger girl by a feather-brained, feverish, impetuous younger man, stupidly crazed with ardour. The higher a part of the play is an inquiry whether or not Mariana will, or is not going to, accede to her lover’s solicitation, and it seems to have been anticipated that the spectator would view with anxious suspense the capricious perturbations of her thoughts and the wayward vacillations of her conduct. At some moments she is propitious: at others her side is that of ominous menace…The execution performed on Marianas lover, Daniel, this being the burden of the play, is pitiful- for that unlucky man is ‘distilled nearly to jelly’ in her presence, and when at size she accepts his homage he turns into a pulp…Thus the instructive Echegaray illustrated in what method the utterly irrational conduct of a morbid girl can diffuse distress and may trigger crime…As a examine of female nature ‘Mariana’ is radically diseased, and as a presentment of the a lot abused ardour of find it irresistible is a libel and a caricature. Such stuff, nevertheless, often finds an viewers: sentimentalism is a standard illness” (vol 2 pp 347-349). Archer (1897) had a extra favorable opinion of Daniel, who “stands alone amongst lovers. He’s ardour itself, ardour incarnate. Echegaray has the romanticist’s love for dealing in prodigies…Daniel is nothing of the type; he’s a fairly commonplace, simple-minded younger man. It’s love, and love alone, that lends him poetry, eloquence, genius. There is no such thing as a artwork in his wooing; it’s even touchingly artless; its energy lies in its intense, overwhelming sincerity. He has this benefit over Romeo himself, that he has a specific amount of resistance to beat. Mariana loves him from the primary; it might be a mistake to interpret her coquetry in any other case however the experiences of her childhood and girlhood, which she relates with such beautiful pathos within the second act, have made her shrink from love and cling desperately to her liberty of coronary heart. Thus Daniel, through the first two acts, has to battle with a deep-seated dread, veiling itself in coquetry and typically in deliberate cruelty” (p 54). Within the view of Ríos-Font (1992), it’s in “Mariana” the place “Echegaray first creates a self-sustaining heroine. The title character is not conceived by way of her significance to others: Mariana is pushed by a powerful ardour, and the drama’s pathos arises from the battle between her want and her beliefs. Having seen her mom abused by a husband and prostituted by a lover, Mariana has grown to hate males and resolves to punish the entire intercourse in her suitor Daniel…About to marry Daniel by her personal selection…Mariana finds out that his father was the person who dishonored her mom. Her ethical rules forestall her from carrying on their romance…Mariana has transgressed, each socially- by independence- and sexually- by desire- the ‘feminine boundaries’, however for this boldness she pays together with her life. Regardless of the obvious subversion of the melodramatic mandate of home passivity, the ending of Echegaray’s play reinforces the male view of femininity” (pp 26-27).

“Don Juan’s son” is a conservative response to Ibsen’s “Ghosts” (1881). But Bernard Shaw (1916) insisted that “his remedy of the ‘Ghosts’ theme is completely unique: there may be not in it a shadow of the peculiar ethical angle of Ibsen. Echegaray remorselessly fixes all of the accountability on Don Juan (Alving), who’s as resolutely vicious as Shelley’s Depend Cenci” (p 86). The similarity of the wording on the finish whereby Lazaro clamors for the solar is a weak point within the play. “Within the performs of the Spanish dramatist José Echegaray, the outdated and the brand new are freely mingled. His type and approach are largely outdated, however he’s keen on treating fashionable topics. The one topic that continually recurs in his performs is sad love. This topic is, nevertheless, all the time coupled with another. Insanity
and heredity are additionally favorites with him. In his performs we not often discover a hint of fatalism, akin to we discovered within the dramas of Maeterlinck, D’Annunzio, and the Austrians. He has created heroic figures of the outdated kind, women and men with a delicate conscience, a excessive and pure conception of honor and morality; and the accusations he hurls in opposition to a corrupt fashionable society even surpass these of Ibsen in level of directness and vehemence. Nothing might show this extra clearly than a comparability of his Son of Don Juan with Ibsen’s Ghosts, by which it was impressed. In Ibsen’s play we solely hear of the dissolute lifetime of Oswald’s father, we’re spared the revolting scenes of his debauchery and vice. In Echegaray’s play the dissolute father performs one of many chief roles collectively together with his two boon companions, who’re no higher than he. There are two victims, as within the Ghosts, although right here not youngsters of the identical father. They’re bodily wrecks, although the chief illness of Lazarus is psychological. Morally, nevertheless, they’re sound. Oswald begs his mom to provide him Regina; Lazarus refuses to just accept Carmen as his bride, as a result of he feels it might be doing her an injustice. Solely after insanity has full mastery over him does he want to flee and luxuriate in life together with her. This lofty ethical sense is attribute of most of Echegaray’s heroes and heroines. They by no means escape from their conscience. He continually flays vice, in actual fact he solely portrays it that he might castigate it” (Solid, 1917 pp 535-536). “A theme that Ibsen had utilized in ‘Ghosts’ for a difficult name for ethical freedom turns into in Echegeray’s drama a literal demonstration of heredity supplemented by standard ethics. The mother and father are punished for having violated the taboo in opposition to profligacy as an alternative of struggling for accepting the conventions of marriage as denounced by Ibsen” (Gassner, 1954a p 425). “The traditional immorality of a philanderer is conventionally punished when Don Juan’s son has inherited venereal illness from his amorous father. No mental fecundity is concerned or wanted for this remedy. All that the playwright and his public have to know is that it’s sinful to philander…and that venereal illness is hereditary” (Gassner, 1954b p 376). Nonetheless, the scene the place Lazaro discovers the physician’s prognosis is of “extraordinary energy and originality…The scene is painful within the excessive, however is labored up with wonderful ingenuity and energy. Each aspect of the scenario is offered in flip, and every is extra appalling than the final” (Archer, 1897 pp 47-48).

Generally, “Echegaray has a uncommon genius for wringing each drop of impact out of a scenario. His approach is commonly clumsy and careless (in accordance with our concepts), his mechanism antiquated; however within the thoroughness with which he works out all the assorted facets and potentialities of a given conjuncture, he has scarcely a rival” (Archer, 1897 pp 46-47).

“The good Galeoto”[edit]

The good Galeoto is public opinion. Photograph of a crowd gathering within the late 19th century

Time: 1880s. Place: Madrid, Spain.

Textual content at http://www.archive.org/particulars/greatgaleotofol00echegoog https://archive.org/particulars/masterpiecesmod00echegoog https://books.google.ca/books?id=6iC60t7HJH0C

Julian, a banker, owes a lot in his enterprise development to Ernesto’s father. “Don Juan of Acedo risked for my household title and wealth, nearly his life,” Julian avers. In return, Julian has housed and fed Ernesto at his expense for the previous 12 months. As a result of Ernesto feels responsible about this association, Julian presents him a put up as his secretary. Julian’s brother and sister-in-law, Severo and Mercedes respectively, each falsely suspect Ernesto of being the lover of Julian’s spouse, Teodora. Mercedes reveals to Teodora that the association between the 2 males is considered suspiciously by the widespread speak of society. Teodora is offended by this suspicion and sobs. Ernesto guesses that the 2 have maligned him and so modifications his thoughts in regards to the secretary place, preferring as an alternative to journey, however Julian refuses to contemplate it. “I’ve not the behavior of fixing my thoughts or the plans I’ve matured due to a boy’s caprice or a madman’s folly,” he pronounces,”and I’ve nonetheless much less intention of weakly subjecting my actions to the city’s idle gossip.” But Ernesto leaves his home to reside in a shabby condo. Julian and Severo study from Pepito, the latter’s son, that due to Viscount Nebreda’s innuendos in regards to the supposed adultery, Ernesto hit him and provoked the specter of a duel. “I imply to do what I ought and may, to avenge myself and save Don Juan of Acedo’s son,” the outraged Julian says. “Observe: till right this moment calumny was impalpable. There was no seizing its form. I’ve now found it, and it has taken a human type. There it’s at hand, within the particular person of a viscount.” Pepito learns that Ernesto has written a play known as “Galeoto” and asks him who does the title discuss with. Galeoto refers to a personality in Dante’s “Divine Comedy”. “Galeoto was the go-between for the queen and Launcelot and in all loves the third could also be honestly nicknamed Galeoto, above all once we want to recommend an unpleasant phrase with out stunning an viewers,” Ernesto solutions. Listening to of his impending duel and his intention to depart Spain in the direction of America, Teodora begs him to keep away from the duel, for it’s her husband’s responsibility to defend her repute, not his. He disagrees. “Each honorable man has the appropriate to defend a woman,” he declares. On listening to a close-by noise, Teodora rushes to cover in his bed room. It’s Julian carried inside by Severo and Pepito because of being wounded by the viscount’s sword. They want to deposit him on Ernesto’s mattress, which the latter makes an attempt to hinder, however Severo pushes previous him, in order that Teodora’s presence in Ernesto’s bed room is revealed to Julian as he faints. Searching for revenge for harming his buddy, Ernesto clashes with the viscount and succeeds in killing him. When Mercedes informs Teodora of the viscount’s dying, she probes into her conscience concerning Ernesto, declaring she is certain he loves her. Alone with Ernesto, Teodora angrily spurns him away, in order that he pleads together with her on his knees to not abandon him. When Severo discovers the 2 collectively, he guesses the worst in regards to the nature of their relation. “I can discover no phrase or epithet ample to the eagerness of contempt I might specific, so I have to be content material to name you a blackguard,” Ernesto declares. “Depart this home directly.” However after listening to him insult Teodora, Ernesto refuses to go. As a substitute, he forces him to kneel to her. A dying Julian enters, forcing the guiltless Ernesto down on his personal knees. “Dangerous buddy, unhealthy son!” he cries and strikes him on the face, then totters out to his dying. Nonetheless incensed and indignant, Severo orders Teodora out of the home. Seizing this chance, Ernesto claims her as his. “She is mine,” he affirms. “The world has so desired it, and its resolution I settle for; it has pushed her to my arms.” The good Galeoto has gained: public opinion has pushed the lovers in one another’s arms.


Time: 1890s. Place: Spain.

Textual content at http://www.archive.org/particulars/marianaanorigin00grahgoog https://catalog.hathitrust.org/File/100544100

The wealthy widow Mariana has two suitors, Pablo, a common, and Daniel, a wealthy man’s son. To each she presents a flower from her bosom. She invitations Daniel to escort her to a ball, however he can not, as his father could also be dying. He but asks her to not exchange him together with his rival, however she refuses. “Lead us to victory, my expensive common,” she instructions. “And the place is the victory?” Pablo asks. “And does a common ask that?” Mariana solutions defiantly, “The place somebody could also be conquered.” Keen to assist Daniel, his buddy, Joaquin speaks favorably of him to Mariana and requests her to declare herself a method or one other. “Why?” she asks. “If he’s pleased at my aspect, if he’s pleased in his struggling, and I’m pleased in making him undergo, why ought to we be separated?” Regardless of such ambivalence, Daniel is unwilling to depart her. Mariana says she is that approach because of her mom operating away from her father for the sake of a lover named Alvarado. “I really feel no love, I really feel no tenderness, and I do not wish to really feel them,” she declares. He accepts to proceed on this approach, however at the very least let her not love one other; in any other case, he guarantees to kill each her and him. However when Mariana discovers that Daniel is Alvarado’s son, she promptly decides to marry Pablo. On the night of their marriage evening, Mariana pretends to undergo from a headache. Daniel surprises her alone, proposing to take her away. She refuses. Having heard some noise in her room, Pablo enters with a pistol. He shoots to dying Mariana and invitations Daniel exterior for a duel, however he refuses. “There was just one life value combating for and that lies there,” Daniel concludes. “What does such lives as ours matter? Adieu. No! I shall be with you quickly, Mariana, I shall be with you quickly.”

“Don Juan’s son”[edit]

Time: 1890s. Place: Spain.

Textual content at http://www.archive.org/particulars/sondonjuan00echegoog https://catalog.hathitrust.org/File/007698126

Don Juan had led a riotous life, filled with drinkings and adulteries, however he’s assured that his son, Lazaro, will make up for his misplaced life with a superb profession as a author. Juan’s cronies are set to go off once more to revels, together with Timoteo, father of Carmen, Lazaro’s meant. “You homosexual younger canine,” Timoteo cries out to Juan, “lead us on to glory and to pleasure.” In the meantime, Carmen and Dolores, Juan’s spouse, fear over Lazaro’s failing well being. He’s typically nervous and unable to pay attention whereas struggling and sweating over a e book by Kant. Dolores consults Dr Bermudez in regards to the situation of her son. Considering the case issues his cousin, the physician blurts out his prognosis: the primary levels of syphilitic dementia transmitted to him by his father’s frequent orgies. After discovering out the reality of the matter, the physician clumsily denies the knowledge of his prognosis, however Lazaro feels it to be true. He asks him when the illness will strike, however the physician solely solutions him in a obscure approach. When Timoteo arrives to provide away his daughter’s hand, Lazaro refuses. Turning to his father, he says: “You gave me life, however that ‘s not sufficient: give me extra life, to reside, to like, to be happy- give me life for my very own Carmen- give me extra life, or cursed be the life you gave me!” then falls unconscious. Although his situation fluctuates from someday to a different, Lazaro appears destined to die a depressing dying. He not has any want to communicate to Carmen and calls as an alternative for his father and mom. Raving, bitterly remembering childhood recollections, he then rejects his father. “No. I bear in mind every part now; between the 2, no; I used to be alone with my mom; you weren’t there. Go away, go away,” he cries out. Remembering throughout his childhood how his mom as soon as selected to ship him away from house, he rejects her as nicely. Ultimately, starting to go blind, he calls out, to the horror of all three: “The solar! The solar! I need the solar.”

Ángel Guimerá wrote a village tragedy of affection within the lowlands, 1917

A pastoral drama, “Terra Baixa” (1896) (Martha of the Lowlands, extra exactly Lowlands) is a transferring Catalan-language play written by Àngel Guimerà (1845-1924).

“Notice how the path of suspense grips you from the beginning. The identical expectation seizes us all. What is going to this uncouth rustic say when he finds out that his bride was a mistress? What is going to he do when he meets her traducer? The disaster is forecast from the very begin and the lengthy path of battle sustains curiosity to the very end- ‘I killed the wolf.’ Right here is telling proof of dramatic intuition, a greater check of native genius, maybe, than anyone trait an creator can manifest” (Anthony, 1915 pp 627-628).


Manelic, performed by Enrique Borrás (1863-1957), is determined to forestall a robust man from taking his spouse away

Time: 1890s. Place: Catalania, Spain.

Textual content at http://archive.org/particulars/martalowlandste00gillgoog https://archive.org/particulars/martaoflowlandst00guimiala

Villagers within the lowlands have heard a rumor whereby the grasp of the city, Sebastian, has organized a wedding between his ward, Martha, and Manelic, a goatherd residing within the uplands. One of many villagers reveals to his companions in a low voice the next opinion: “They cannot idiot me. The grasp’s been huntin’ a husband for her for a very long time, however he could not discover one. They each needed a person who could be like a dumb brute, extra so than any of us-” On his arrival, the villagers smile or snicker at Manelic’s simplicity. “Each evening, with out missin’ one, I say my prayers; first a paternoster, after which one other paternoster, which makes two paternosters,” he specifies. “The primary for the souls of my father and mom, as a result of they cherished one another so; one is sufficient for each. And the opposite paternoster- have you learnt what it’s for?- Why, so the Lord would ship me an excellent spouse.” Martha is displeased to be the chosen one, however but submits to the highly effective Sebastian. “Why, that is what I need.” he says. “You do not know how glad I’m to listen to you say it. Do you suppose, if he happy you, I would allow you to marry him?” The deliberate marriage was helped by one other villager, Thomas, however after listening to that Martha has been the grasp’s mistress since she was a baby, he baulks at it, however but Sebastian imposes his will, Manelic to change into the brand new miller. He himself is to marry one other and thereby annul his uncle’s testomony whereby he would get nothing. After the ceremony, Martha insists that her husband sleep in a separate room. When she discovers her husband loves her, she is aghast with shock and horror, having thought he accepted her for cash. Listening to in regards to the unhealthy relations present between husband and spouse, the villagers snicker. As a result of Manelic suspects the presence of a person skulking about his home and since his spouse reveals no signal of loving him, he needs to return to the uplands with out her, contemplating this place “a pit of distress”. After studying this, Martha pleads to comply with Manelic and thereby escape from Sebastian’s baleful affect, even goading him to stab her with a knife moderately than abandoning her. Manelic recoils from additional violence and decides to take her with him in spite of everything, however Sebastian prevents it and removes him from his put up. To encourage Manelic to return again to her, Martha reveals that Sebastian is the person he was frightened about. As Marta prepares to flee one evening from the village, she is caught in time by Sebastian. She struggles in opposition to him. As he catches her by the throat, Manelic tears the door-curtain apart and stands peering in. He challenges Sebastian to struggle, however, seeing him unarmed, throws his knife away. He strangles Sebastian to dying, then, standing in entrance of the villagers, factors in the direction of the mountains. Martha nods absently in settlement. They run away collectively, the folks falling again to make room for them.

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