Fuente Ovejuna Analysis

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Amy Miller Dr. Rick Jones Theatre 460 Lope de Vega, Fuente Ovejuna and Fuente Ovejuna has remained a landmark work within the most respected realms of the theatre for centuries; one must assume that this is by no mistake. This seminal work is celebrated as a prime example of the form and style that represents the best of theatre during the Golden Age of Spain. Lope de Vega's masterpiece exhibits a three act structure that combines comedy and tragedy and a mixture of characters from a widely varied social stratum. Vega's use of verse and lyricism is generously applied to each character, led by their emotional connection to the story, instead of maintaining a strict adherence to the precepts of the language of a particular…show more content…
Isabella and Ferdinand, the Catholic Kings, will expel the Muslim population that has governed Spain for eight centuries by 1492, at the same time that Columbus will set sail for the New World (Edwards vii). Spain is on the eve of cementing a national unity that will place them on the global stage as an unparalleled world power. By the time that Charles V is elected Holy Roman Emperor in 1519, Spain's already considerable influence increases exponentially; making Charles and thus Spain the most powerful leader in the world. The conquest of the Americas and the domination of its Northern European territories will allow Spain to create an empire that will dominate European society on a dramatic scale. "By De Vega's lifetime, Spain was a major European power but the cost of sustaining its empire was having a deleterious impact at home, as high taxation and inflation crippled local industry" (Holdsworth 43). Before this conquest of the known world, however, the Catholic Monarchs are embroiled in a dynastic war with Portugal. Juana and Alfonso V have just seen the Battle of Toro end with disastrous results for their political future in Spanish territory. In fact, 1474 to 1479, Spain is in the midst of civil war. Master of Calatrava Giron sacks Cuidad Real for his cousin, King Alfonso of Portugal and essentially bequeaths the village of Fuent Ovejuna to his knight, Comendador Gomez (Lauer 20). That Fuente Ovejuna is meant to portray the events in a truthful historical context is now at odds with the fact that several events as told through Vega's play are out of sequence. What is certain, in terms of the depiction of the character of the Comendador, is that his opposition to the Catholic Kings, Isabella and Ferdinand, are substantiated by the Calatravan annexation of Ciudad Real at the same time of the insurrection in Fuente Ovejuna (Larson 83). The dramatic persuasion of De Vega's account of events is compounded

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