Biography of Famous Spanish Playwright Felix Lope de Vega Carpio Part 2

About the famous Spanish playwright Felix Lope de Vega, history and biography of the writer.


Felix Lope de Vega Carpio (1563-1635)

Lope de Vega kept copious notes on his amatory and professional adventures. In 1605, when his exploits reached the ears of the Duke of Sessa, the duke became his lifelong literary patron. He, in turn, as the duke's secretary, provided consultory advice on affairs l'amour. In 1610, he returned to Madrid where he staged plays in the Calle de Francos until his death 25 years later. While grieving over the loss of his wife and son, he took holy orders for ordination as a priest and familiar of the Holy Inquisition in 1614. In the strangest of dichotomies, even as he wrote light comedy he presided, with cool fanaticism, over a monk's barbaric execution for heresy. And his profane writing and love affairs continued even after his union with the Church.

Of his hundreds of plays, he is well remembered for Peribanez, El mejor alcalde el rey, and El caballero de Olmedo. In his most important historical play, La bizarrias de Balisa (1634), he dealt with the flamboyant cape-and-sword antics of the nobility. Another, Fuente Ovejuna (The Sheep Well), is extremely popular in the Soviet Union because of its proletarian theme: A young peasant girl rouses the people to kill a leader who plunders their village and attempts to rape their women. With El nino de la guardia and its anti-Semitic plot, he appealed to strongly-Catholic Spain. In Pedro Carbonero, he sought a theme that treated the Moors sympathetically.

At 72, the flames of both passion and creativity flickered and then died on August 27, 1635. His demise was perhaps aided by severe debilitation attributed to frequent religious flagellation that sometimes left the walls of his room covered with blood. His patron, the Duke of Sessa, celebrated his passing with a 9-day funeral.

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