Characters Discussed

(Great Characters in Literature)

Commander Fernán Gómez de Guzmán

Commander Fernán Gómez de Guzmán (fehr-NAHN GOH-mehs deh gews-MAHN), the feudal lord of the village of Fuente Ovejuna (Sheep Well or Watering Place) in 1476. Lusting after the village girls, he has his servants, Flores and Ortuño, seize them and bring them to his palace for his pleasure. The girl he desires most is Laurencia, the prettiest girl of the village, but she manages to elude his servants. One day, the commander does seize her, but she is saved by Frondoso, a courageous young peasant. To further his political ambitions, the commander persuades the young master of Calatrava to attack the city of Ciudad Real, in the possession of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella. He intends to turn the town over to the king of Portugal. His career of tyranny and treachery ends when he is overthrown and killed by the people of Fuente Ovejuna after he has halted the marriage of Laurencia and taken the girl to the citadel.

Pedro Téllez Girón

Pedro Téllez Girón (PEH-droh TEH-yehs hee-ROHN), the youthful head of the military and religious Order of Calatrava. Urged by the older Commander Gómez, he captures Ciudad Real, but he is later defeated by the royal Spanish army. His appeal to King Ferdinand for clemency is accepted, and he is restored to honor.


Laurencia (low-

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The Sheep Well Bibliography

(Great Characters in Literature)

Crow, John A. Spain: The Root and the Flower. New York: Harper & Row, 1963. Chapters 6 through 9 contain a readable account of the history of Spain during the epoch of Vega Carpio.

Larson, Donald R. The Honor Plays of Lope de Vega. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1977. Treats the concept of honor in Vega Carpio’s comedias. Contains an informative section pertaining to The Sheep Well in the chapter titled “Plays of the Middle Period.”

Parker, A. A. “The Approach to the Spanish Drama of the Golden Age.” Tulane Drama Review 4 (1959): 42-59. Presents five principles relating to the dramatic construction of the comedia. Enhances understanding of the Spanish drama of the seventeenth century.

Pring-Mill, R. D. F. “Sententiousness in Fuenteovejuna (Sheep Well).” Tulane Drama Review 7 (1962): 5-37. Relates the importance of maxims in The Sheep Well. The conclusions concerning the abundance of aphorisms in The Sheep Well can be applied to various comedias of the epoch.

Reichenberger, Arnold G. “The Uniqueness of the Comedia.” Hispanic Review 27, no. 3 (July, 1959): 303-316. A critical essay that shows the distinctive characteristics of the comedia. Useful in comprehending the Spanish plays of the Golden Age.