In their view, the poor quality of the dramatic fare of the day was caused by inexperienced playwrights who catered to the uneducated public's taste for visual spectacle and who ignored indispensable neoclassic precepts. This play affirms that nothing less than national pride is at stake in the high calling of the dramatic craft. More importantly, Los figurones literarios , proposes an alternate role for women in society, a role which contrasts sharply with the patriarchal status quo affirmed in La comedia nueva. Los figurones literarios , takes place in the study of Don Panuncio's home one afternoon in Madrid.
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In their view, the poor quality of the dramatic fare of the day was caused by inexperienced playwrights who catered to the uneducated public's taste for visual spectacle and who ignored indispensable neoclassic precepts. This play affirms that nothing less than national pride is at stake in the high calling of the dramatic craft. More importantly, Los figurones literarios , proposes an alternate role for women in society, a role which contrasts sharply with the patriarchal status quo affirmed in La comedia nueva.
Los figurones literarios , takes place in the study of Don Panuncio's home one afternoon in Madrid. Don Panuncio considers himself both a renowned scientist and especially an unsurpassed playwright.
Nevertheless, afraid of possible adverse public reaction to his first play, El contraste contrastado , the hopeful dramatist claims that the work is that of his son, Alberto, and arranges for its performance that afternoon. Alberto objects strongly to both actions of his father -he knows the play will fail and he is in love himself with Isabel. The inevitable failure of the drama plays into Isabel's hands.
She now threatens to reveal to all that Don Panuncio is the author of the absurd play if he insists on marrying her to Don Epitafio. At the conclusion of Los figurones literarios Don Panuncio bows to Isabel's wishes and accepts her marriage with Alberto as well as her advise to expel his frivolous companions from his house. In addition, both plays follow the neoclassic unities of time under 24 hours , place all action takes place in a single location , and action a unified sequence of events.
However, differences between Los figurones literarios and La comedia nueva are also evident. Moreover, the titles of the two works demonstrate the difference in the focus of each play. The title of Los figurones literarios mirrors a different didactic thrust: the requirement to choose with care one's social relationships.
Despite a similarity in theme, then, Los figurones literarios is markedly different from La comedia nueva ; as Eva M. Caricature is central to the comic effect produced by Los figurones literarios. As the four friends of Don Panuncio are introduced in the first act, the audience readily notes that language, gestures, and even stage props distinguish each of Don Panuncio's fashionable friends. This characterization of a role by the stressing of one or more personality traits is typical of the sainete.
Often, the speech of the character mirrors these same traits. Another example of a character who can be easily identified by his speech and his actions is Don Cilindro, who prefers to employ trendy scientific terminology. Several entire scenes in Los figurones literarios resemble the popular sainete. Don Panuncio interrupts the proceedings to request that all look through his telescope at a comet which only Alberto can see.
The use of farce and caricature, central to the structure of Los figurones literarios and reminiscent of the sainete , is absent in La comedia nueva. His comic effect originates chiefly from his language.
Sunt autem fabulae, aliae simplices, aliae implexae. Humor in both discourses originates from the utilization of superficial knowledge for social advantage.
Don Pedro's didactic voice for the characters of La comedia nueva and theatergoers alike dominates the final scene Act II, scene IX , where the hombre de bien lectures Don Euleterio on how to write plays:. In this last scene, the austere Don Pedro also proposes a change in Don Eleuterio's private life:. Yet the overt moralizing is summed up briefly by Don Gil at he end of the sainete :. This speech is very similar to the brief final statement of Isabel at the conclusion of Los figurones literarios :.
Another fundamental difference distances Los figurones literarios from the well-known La comedia nueva : the role of women in each work. In this regard, Bridget Hill, in her text on eighteenth-century women, has demonstrated that after throughout Europe there was a concerted effort in literature to define the proper place of women in society. As women in the Age of Enlightenment became more active in salons, literary endeavors, and even in the affairs of state, they needed to be reminded, according to many masculine observers, of their traditional feminine roles as wife and mother.
Underlining theses roles was the male view that female mental and physical capabilities were inferior to men. Thus, women in general were to listen and not to speak; feminine virtue was defined in such terms as restraint, passivity, compliance, submission, and delicacy.
Masculine traits in women, such as intellectual activity, were considered forbidding. The didactic message of many of these works, Kish concludes, forms nothing less than an aesthetic curriculum of a school for obedient wives. Instead of concerning herself with the writing of dramas, Don Pedro recommends that she only perform domestic duties:. Moreover, Mariquita, the sister of Don Eleuterio, is happier at home preparing meals, sewing, cleaning, and other traditional female chores.
Closely allied with these domestic abilities is Mariquita's principal concern in La comedia nueva : the selection of a husband. Los figurones literarios sharply contrast with La comedia nueva in the role it offers women in society. It is she who convinces Don Panuncio that he should approve her marriage with Alberto.
She, along with Alberto, points out to Don Panuncio that his friends are merely leaches and that they should be thrown out of his house.
Finally, Don Panuncio puts such trust in his niece that he leaves to her discretion who should enter his home:. Isabel clearly enjoys her ability to control her masculine relatives and to teach them a lesson, as she tells Alberto:.
Nevertheless, women are also caricatured in Los figurones literarios. As she arrives at the house of Don Panuncio, her first concern is to know the news of the nation:. As in the case of the masculine comic figures, she is ridiculed for the superficial knowledge she possesses of her field of interest. There is no suggestion that she or her masculine counterparts stop their respective studies; on the contrary, they need to study more and talk less.
Underlying the role of women throughout Los figurones literarios is a suspicion of masculine authority. Epitomizing this aspect of the work is the opening scene of Act III, in which Isabel is reading a text entitle Descubierta de la India. Isabel is amazed that in India women throw themselves on the funeral pyres of their husbands.
She concludes that women in general. In the latter work, Don Pedro gives a lesson on the correct writing of plays as well as the proper place of women in the home. In that play the protagonist decides to separate herself and her son from her wayward husband. In all, Los figurones literarios offers different view of the capability of women in society, a view not only at variance with La comedia nueva but also with many other eighteenth-century dramatic works in Spain.
In this regard, could Los figurones litetarios have been a dramatic reply to the earlier La comedia nueva? I believe that this contention is possible 2. It has been shown that several events and characters from La comedia nueva are echoed in Los figurones litetarios but are developed in a different way. Her death at the age of 38 prevented the dramatist from further polishing her dramatic craft.
She was also well aware of the fact that she was a woman writing in a field dominated by men. In several prefaces to her literary texts as well as in various plays themselves one notes today statements that remind her contemporary public that she, as a woman, was forging a new role for her sex 3.
Tengo olvidada. Pues enjuguen. Quiero que de mis vivezas. Lucas, no has de abrir la puerta. Pero entre tanto pensemos. Panuncio, hace mucho tiempo.
La comedia nueva o el café
He is convinced that his action-packed play will be a success. But the public is hard to please, and Eleuterio soon learns that the life of a playwright is not as easy as it looks. He is joined by his loyal wife Agustina, his young sister Mariquita and two well-known faces of the theatre world, Don Hermogenes and Don Serapio. Recently unemployed and with a wife and children to care for, Eleuterio hopes his play will bring him great success. Hermogenes, too, is eager for the play to be a hit. The critic might have a prolific store of Latin and Greek quotations, but when it comes to money, his pockets are far from overflowing. Engaged to Mariquita and pursued by his landlord for rent, Hermogenes is desperate for money.
Visor de obras.