The numerous plays written by Agustín Moreto y Cabaña alone or in collaboration with other writers cover a wide variety of subjects, both religious and secular. He wrote many different types of plays, some totally original and some clearly taken from identifiable sources. Among his works are found some of the best plays of his time, some of the best, in fact, in all of Spanish drama. Although long having been praised for his skill in developing and presenting his themes and characters, Moreto has also been condemned for his lack of originality.
Although Moreto wrote five religious plays by himself and collaborated in the writing of nine more, none of his really outstanding works is among them. Although not all modern critics share her views, Kennedy is quite negative in her appraisal of this category of his drama: “In his secular theatre Moreto was, as we shall see, ahead of his time. In the religious comedia he is entirely of his own day. Moreover, if put in comparison with other dramatists of his time, he cannot, in this genre, be said to rise above the level of mediocrity.”
San Franco de Sena
An example of Moreto’s religious drama, San Franco de Sena, was first published in 1652. Casa notes that its publication took place one year after the establishment of the cult of that saint in Madrid and was probably written as part of the celebration in honor of San Franco. The critics’ comments on its artistic...
(The entire section is 1820 words.)
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