de, Tirso Molina
Tirso de Molina 1580?-1648
(Born Gabriel Téllez) Spanish playwright of the Golden Age.
Tirso de Molina was one of the four most famous and revered playwrights of Spain's Golden Age. De Molina was a disciple of the first, most famous, and most prolific of these dramatists, Lope de Vega. Although he is supposed to have written nearly 400 plays, not all are assuredly his writings, and today less than 90 are extant. Because de Molina's plays range from the highly comic to the tragic and because he wrote as much to serve principle as to please an audience, comparisons to Shakespeare are common. De Molina's greatest contribution to both life and letters is Don Juan, the character who first appeared in El burlador de Sevilla (1630; The Trickster of Seville and the Stone Guest).
De Molina was born Gabriel Téllez in Madrid around 1580. His parentage is uncertain, but he was probably the illegitimate son of a duke, a status that might account for de Molina's complaints about his lack of social position, the injustice of certain social conventions, and his dislike of nobility and hierarchy. He studied at the universities of Alcalá and Guadalajara. In 1601 he joined the large and noble Mercedarian Order in which he held high office, winning prestige as a theologian and acting as the Order's chronicler. In 1613 he relocated to Toledo, becoming a friar, and later moved to Santo Domingo. In 1621 de Molina traveled to Madrid, where he wrote a great many of his plays. He gook part in the literary celebration in 1622 for San Isidro—presided over by Lope de Vega—but did not win any prizes for the poetry he submitted. In 1625 de Molina was banished from the Junta de Reformación for alleged obscenities and was transferred to a remote friary in Trujillo where he served as Prior for three years. He was told never to write further plays or poems, and it appears he mostly followed this edict since most of his plays appear to have been written from 1605–1625, the latter being the date of his reprimand. At Trujillo, he served as official chronicler of the Order. During the thirties he was in Barcelona, Madrid, and Toldedo, and was again banished to a friary in Soria, where he became its Prior from 1645–47. He is said to have written three to four hundred plays in his lifetime. He died in Almazán in 1648.
De Molina initially depended greatly on his renowned contemporary, Lope de Vega, whose influence is evident in one of de Molina's earliest plays, Los lagos de San Vicente, (1607; The Miraculous Lakes of Saint Vincent) which closely imitates de Vega's Santa Casilda. The progression from imitation to mastery can be seen in de Molina's body of work, which came to include comedies, tragedies, historical plays, and novels. De Molina is best known for his religious plays, the most significant of which are El burlador de Sevilla and El condenado por desconfiado(1624; Damned for Despair). El burlador is attributed with introducing the theme of Don Juan into European literature. Later, this theme became famous in world literature through Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's opera Don Giovanni. De Molina also wrote many serious plays inspired by stories from the Old Testament, including La venganza de Tamar (1634; The Vengeance of Tamar). As a playwright of the Golden Age, de Molina had to concentrate on amusing his audience despite his serious subject matter. Don Gil de la calzas verdes (1611; Don Gil in Green Breeches), in which de Molina uses the convention of women disguised as men, and El vergonzoso en palacio (1612; The Shy Young Man at Court) are among his most spirited comedies.
The traditional, yet adventurous themes and memorable characters de Molina created throughout his career undoubtedly contributed to his literary significance during and since the Golden Age. His El burlador de Sevilla is generally considered his masterpiece, although his religious play El condenado por desconfiado also is much admired. His comedies employing the comic device of women disguised as men, including Don Gil de la calzas verdes and El vergonzoso en palacio, are admired for the depth of characterization given the female characters. His historical drama, La prudencia en la mujer (1622; Prudence in a Woman), depicting the reign of Queen Maria, garnered critical praise for its insight into Spanish politics and morality. Another strong female character of de Molina is the protagonist of Marta la piadosa (1615; Pious Martha), in which a woman employs deceitful tactics to flummox the rigid patriarchal establishment in order to marry the man of her choosing. His religious plays are often thought to be imitative and less successfully accomplished than the similarly themed plays of Lope de Vega. In fact, de Molina is considered second only to de Vega as the era's most significant writer.
Los lagos de San Vicente [The Miraculous Lakes of Saint Vincent] 1607
El melancólico [The Melancholiac] 1610
Don Gil de la calza verdes [Don Gil in Green Breeches] 1611
El vergonzoso en palacio [The Shy Young Man at Court] 1612
Los cigarrales de Toledo [The Country Houses of Toledo] 1621
La prudencia en la mujer [Prudence in a Woman] 1622
El condenado por desconfiado [Damned for Despair] 1624
La huerta de Juan Fernandez 1626
El burlador de Sevilla y convidado de piedra [The Trickster of Seville and the Stone Guest] 1630
La venganza de Tamar [The Vengeance of Tamar] 1634
Antona García 1635
Las quinas de Portugal [The Arms of Portugal] 1638
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Criticism: Overviews And General Studies
SOURCE: “Tirso de Molina,” in Hispania, Vol. XXXII, No. 2, May, 1949, pp. 131-40.
[In the following essay, Wade discusses de Molina's life and work, focusing on how he used his genius to serve humanity.]
Tirso de Molina (born Gabriel Téllez) died in 1648. The tercentenary of his death has occasioned a rebirth of interest in him and his work. Indeed, the resurgence of Tirsian scholarship began some years ago, in Spain, England, and the United States. The appearance of Doña Blanca de los Ríos' long-awaited volume on Tirso1 was a climactic event that will have scholarly repercussion for years to come. The volume is the first of two which will contain Tirso's biography and the texts of all his plays; the second is scheduled to appear in 1949. The scholarly labors of Father Manuel Penedo, of Santiago Montoto, and of Fray Martín Ortúzar have contributed substantially to our knowledge of Tirso and his theater. In England, two commentators on Tirso and his art have produced recent contributions of genuine worth. Aubrey Bell's “Some Notes on Tirso de Molina”2 is an attempt to review the major facts of Tirso's life and work; the essay has in general that authority and charm which Mr. Bell's efforts invariably possess, but it has also a number of features, whether in reference to Tirso's biography or to an appreciation of his plays, that, in the light of our very recent knowledge...
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SOURCE: “Tirso de Molina's Old Testament Plays,” in Bulletin of Hispanic Studies, Vol. XXVII, No. 107, July-September, 1950, pp. 149-63.
[In the following essay, Metford examines de Molina's religious background, which compelled him to write about the Old Testament, and how his knowledge of the human mind transformed his plays into works of art.]
Like most dramatists of the Golden Age, Tirso de Molina tried his hand at adapting for the stage stories from the Old Testament. Three comedias of this type, acknowledged to be his, survive, but it is conceivable that he wrote others in collaboration, or that some from his pen now pass under the name of other dramatists. His extant plays are: La Mejor Espigadera, a re-creation of the ever popular history of Ruth; La Venganza de Tamar, which turns on Amnon's incestuous passion (2 Samuel, xiii); and La Mujer que manda en casa, a version of Jezebel's libidinous career (I Kings, xvi-xxii). These plays may be examined in two ways, either historically and comparatively, to determine their place in the long procession of Old Testament dramas and their relationship to similar works by other writers, or as isolated examples of Tirso's dramatic craft. It is proposed, in this article, to concentrate on the latter aspect—to ignore, for example, the superiority of La Mejor Espigadera to Horozco's earlier version of the same story, and...
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SOURCE: “Love, Comedia Style,” in Kentucky Romance Quarterly, Vol. 29, No. 1, 1982, pp. 47-60.
[In the following essay, Wade discusses how priests and other officials of the church wrote erotic Spanish comedies during the Golden Age in spite of the fact that moralists of the time opposed the subject.]
The “aesthetics of the folk”1 have determined not entirely but in large part the nature and content of literature. Thus when the folk affirm that all the world loves a lover, that the course of true love never runs smooth, or that love makes the world go ’round, the aphorisms, like those of similar nature, help to make understandable the inevitable recurrence of the love motif in much of the world's literature. Although this motif may be, and often is, treated seriously—and also tragically—2 it is more usually, in what may be termed its surface treatment, given a comic texture. As stated by Benjamin Lehman,3 comedy meets a need, and this in every age. It uses its accustomed devices to beget emotions, usually but not always mirthful, through the actions and utterances of the characters of a play or novel or short story, and this even though all comedy, including farce, is at bottom essentially serious. It is serious because it affords a more or less pleasing vision of reality that the average person takes for granted, and it makes an affirmation about life that...
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SOURCE: “Love, Matrimony and Desire in the Theatre of Tirso de Molina,” in Bulletin of the Comediantes, Vol. 37, No. 1, Summer, 1985, pp. 83-99.
[In the following essay, Sullivan concludes that the totality of de Molina's true views on love cannot be determined from his plays.]
Tirso studies have been historically bedevilled by a range of problems so various and intransigent that scholars have been understandably reluctant to address large aspects of his drama (such as the theme of love) with any confidence. I am referring to the almost total absence of firm dates of composition for the comedias (despite Ruth Lee Kennedy's lifelong efforts) and the consequent lack of any reliable chronology. The authorship of a large number of his plays has also been challenged (most sweepingly by Margaret Wilson), including many major ones: El burlador de Sevilla; El condenado por desconfiado; El rey don Pedro en Madrid; Los amantes de Teruel among a dozen others.1 The facts of Tirso's birth, parentage and early life have given rise to a controversy that has raged for almost a hundred years without achieving a resolution, and what is known of the rest of his life is sketchy. As new material comes to light, it tends to fill out our picture of the Mercedarian friar, but not the writer. Other critics such as Cotarelo y Mori and Da. Blanca de los Ríos have dismissed as a fiction the existence...
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SOURCE: “The Monarch/Mother in the ‘Comedias’ of Tirso de Molina,” in Crítica Hispánica, Vol. 9, Nos. 1-2, 1987, pp. 39-49.
[In the following essay, Chittenden studies the development of female characters in de Molina's plays, outlining their roles and comparing them with one another.]
As critics have frequently noted, the presence of the madre in the comedia is very rare. As a matter of fact, among the 256 female characters in the 61 plays that we know to have been written by Tirso de Molina, there are only 15 madres whose role as a mother plays a significant part in the development of the drama. Reigning female monarchs are likewise scarce, there being only 13 in Tirso's comedias. In the category of monarch/mother we find only four: Irene, in La república al revés; Tetis, in El Aquiles; Elena, in El árbol del mejor fruto; and María de Molina, in La prudencia en la mujer. Each of these women shows herself to be a strong character, who, in her concern for his future, counsels her son wisely and well. In this study I shall give a brief outline of the role of each of these personages in the drama in which she appears, compare the four with Tirso's female characters in general and with each other, and discuss the probable chronology and evolution of the monarch/mother in Tirso's works.
It is noteworthy that these four...
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SOURCE: “Tirso de Molina's Idea of ‘Tragedia,’” in Bulletin of the Comediantes, Vol. 40, No. 1, Summer, 1988, pp. 41-52.
[In the following essay, Darst concludes that de Molina's use of the word tragedia is more in line with Medieval Latin tradition than Aristotelian precepts.]
Tirso de Molina's authorship of more than 80 extant dramas makes him the most prolific playwright of his time after Lope de Vega and Pedro Calderón de la Barca. Tirso's plays cover the entire spectrum of dramatic groups, which modern critics have labelled with generic names like comedias de costumbres, comedias de capa y espada, comedias de santos, comedias mitológicas, and comedias histórico-legendarias. His opinions about the theater of his time are well-known, because in his prose miscellany Cigarrales de Toledo (1624) he presented a brilliant defense of the comedia nueva and its privilege to imitate the contemporary mores and customs of the natural world rather than those of the ancient world described by Aristotle and Horace (Darst 83-106). Specifically, Tirso defended the right to ignore the previously venerated rules of length (both physical time and the unity of 24 hours), verisimilitude (mixture of noble and peasant characters, historicity, licentious portrayals of noble-born people), place (specifically, that the events in a play must transpire in one locale), and decorum...
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SOURCE: “New Clothes, New Roles: Disguise and the Subversion of Convention in Tirso and Sor Juana,” in Romance Languages Annual, Vol. 1, 1989, pp. 500-04.
[In the following essay, Larson considers the implications of cross-dressing in the comedies of de Molina and Sor Juana.]
In an article on role change in Calderonian drama, Susan Fischer reminds us that that the “essence of the theater is change—the theoretically temporary metamorphosis of an actor into a character he is to portray onstage” (73). What we find in any number of Golden Age plays is the literalization of that metaphor, in which characters assume other roles in addition to those assigned by the dramatist, often utilizing disguises to accomplish the role change. In the theater of the Golden Age, the convention of the woman who dresses like a man was relatively commonplace, reflecting a liberating experience in all senses of the word: male clothing facilitated admittance into a world that would otherwise be closed to the female characters of the comedia, allowing them to travel freely within a restrictive, patriarchal society and to take greater control over their own destinies. In that sense, when female characters donned male clothes, they changed not only their physical appearance, but their entire dramatic definitions. They assumed new roles as the result of their change of costume, moving from states of helpless...
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SOURCE: “Tirso de Molina and the Other Lopistas,” in Theatre in Spain, 1490-1700, Cambridge University Press, 1989, pp. 115-39.
[In the following excerpt, McKendrick overviews the plays of de Molina.]
Tirso de Molina's world, by contrast with Lope's, is a world peopled by the unusual and the extreme, even bizarre. Tirso de Molina was the pseudonym of a Mercedarian monk called Fray Gabriel Téllez (c. 1584-1648).1 The greatest of Lope's disciples, although their personal relationship was neither close nor particularly good, he was writing plays by the mid-1600s and within a few years had become one of Spain's major dramatists. He more or less dominated the Spanish stage along with Lope in the early 1620s. This period of maximum productivity coincided with his transfer to the house of his order in Madrid at a time of great intellectual activity. Góngora, Quevedo, the ageing Lope and the young Calderón all lived and wrote there and other dramatists gathered from elsewhere—Guillén de Castro from Valencia, Luis Vélez de Guevara and Mira de Amescua from Andalusia, Juan Ruiz de Alarcón from Mexico. Tirso entered with gusto into this exciting literary world with its academies and controversies, its friendships and its animosities. For him, sadly, it was not to last. On 6 March 1625 the Council of Castile's Committee for Reform declared his dramatic activities scandalous in a man of...
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Criticism: El Condenado Por Desconfiado
SOURCE: “Religious Melancholy (Tirso),” in Melancholy and the Secular Mind in Spanish Golden Age Literature, University of Missouri Press, 1990, pp. 37-63.
[In the following excerpt, Soufas concentrates on de Molina's El condenado por desconfiado and its character Paulo who, in Soufas' essay, clearly defines the seventeenth-century understanding of religious melancholy.]
In truth it was melancholy that the devil breathed into Adam at the time of his fall: melancholy which robs a man of his ardour and faith.
St. Hildegard of Bingen
The epigraph above calls attention to the importance of melancholy in the religious and the moral teachings against sin. St. Hildegard of Bingen concentrates on the origin of melancholy, which she describes as simultaneous with the commission of Original Sin. In her account, the twelfth-century saint focuses on the moment when Adam ate the forbidden apple and the melancholy humor in his blood curdled, “as when a lamp is quenched, the smouldering and smoking wick remains reeking behind … the sparkle of innocence was dulled in him, and his eyes, which had formerly beheld heaven, were blinded, and his gall was changed to bitterness, and his melancholy to blackness.”1 Hers is a description of melancholia that represents an important medieval articulation of the link between...
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Criticism: El Burlador De Sevilla
SOURCE: “Did Tirso Employ Counterpassion in His Burlador de Sevilla?” in Hispanic Review, Vol. XX, No. 2, April, 1952, pp. 123-33.
[In the following essay, Marni considers the question of whether or not counterpassion (the principal that considers if a punishment fits a crime) was used in de Molina's El burlador de Sevilla.]
The spiritual damnation of Don Juan by Tirso de Molina posed no problem either to the famous Mercedario himself or to his contemporary fellow-Christians. For them it was a simple matter of dogma. Divine justice dooms unrepentant mortal sinners to everlasting punishment.1 But does not Don Juan express repentance?
Deja que llame quien me confiese y absuelva,
he cries, only to be told
No hay lugar; ya acuerdas tarde,
and to feel, immediately thereafter, the pangs of hell:
¡Que me quemo! ¡Que me abraso! ¡Muerto soy!2
The modern reader is inclined to ask: “Did God deal fairly with Don Juan?” And there is further cause for modern uneasiness in this matter. It would even appear that the Lord, the all-mighty Judge, rejecting the standard rules of chivalry and fair play, had recourse to deceit in meting out His punishment. In the...
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SOURCE: “El Burlador, Don Giovanni, and the Popular Concept of Don Juan,” in Hispania, Vol. XXXVIII, No. 2, May, 1955, pp. 173-77.
[In the following essay, Sedwick concludes that neither de Molina's El burlador nor Mozart's Don Giovanni ultimately define the concept of Don Juan.]
Tirso de Molina's Burlador de Sevilla is, among other things, a drama of the collective erotic subconscious, a Renaissance glorification of manly beauty and individual courage, and a baroque theological tragedy. [A paper read at the 36th Annual Meeting of the AATSP, New York, December 29-30, 1954.] Mozart's Don Giovanni portrays a burlador burlado, amateurishly gross in the art of love, and sketchily depicted by the librettist, Lorenzo Da Ponte. Mozart's music notwithstanding, Da Ponte lacked the tools for giving sufficient substance to an opera potentially the culmination of a great human and literary theme. Then, too, Tirso's great figure would necessarily lose its magic force in the atmosphere of Figaro. Yet the popular concept of Don Juan, the connotation which the man on the street has for him, is neither tragic nor comic, neither the burlador of Tirso nor the burlador burlado of Da Ponte and Mozart.
Let us first define the “popular concept” of Don Juan and then proceed to seek its source. To the man on the street, Don Juan means...
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SOURCE: “El Burlador de Sevilla: A Tragedy of Errors,” in Philological Quarterly, Vol. XXXVI, No. 1, January, 1957, pp. 61-71.
[In the following essay, Wardropper presents an in-depth discussion of de Molina's El burlador de Sevilla.]
“Todo este mundo es errar.”1
The point about Tirso's Don Juan is, not that he is a profligate, but that he is a deceiver, a source of error. He broadcasts burlas about Spain and Italy. Burlas are contrived engaños, the opposite of veras. In Part I of Don Quixote the knight is the victim of a series of engaños, more or less fateful misunderstandings; but in Part II, especially in the events at the court of the Duke and Duchess, he is the victim of burlas, deliberately engineered misunderstandings. The aristocrats' pleasure, in their casa de plazer, is the fruit of mischief, of la malicia—the Satanic force in the allegory of the time. In this sense Don Juan too is Satanic:2 out of malice he perverts the idea of truth held by others. El burlador de Sevilla, then, like Don Quixote, La vida es sueño, El criticon, Los sueños, and so many other seventeenth-century Spanish works, is concerned with nothing less than an examination of the nature of truth, and man's perennial failure to apprehend it and live up to it.
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SOURCE: “Tirso's Don Juan and the Opposing Self,” in Bulletin of the Comediantes, Vol. 33, No. 1, Spring, 1981, pp. 3-7.
[In the following essay, Hesse examines the possibility that the characters Don Juan and Catalinon in de Molina's El burlador de Sevilla may represent a single psychological entity.]
Some years ago Otto Rank studied the psychological interdependence of master and servant in Mozart's opera Don Giovanni.1 He views the Don and his servant Leporello as a single psychological entity. In his role as confidant, companion and servant, Leporello makes all kinds of admonitions which Don Giovanni permits because he has need of him. What Rank has done for an understanding of the relationship between Don Giovanni and Leporello has prompted me to investigate whether a similar relationship exists between Don Juan and Catalinón in Tirso's El burlador de Sevilla.
Don Juan and Catalinón may be regarded as characters completely distinct one from the other as separate individuals (like Don Quijote and Sancho), or they may be considered from a psychoanalytic perspective as complementary parts of a unified whole. That is, they resemble two projections of the same human personage seen as two because they are out of focus, much like what happens when one looks through the lens of a camera and sees two images, images that have not been brought into focus as one....
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SOURCE: “Hell or Heaven? Providence and Don Juan,” in Renascence, Vol. XXXVII, No. 4, Summer, 1985, pp. 212-19.
[In the following essay, Howe compares de Molina's The Trickster of Seville and the Stone Guest to Zorilla's Don Juan Tenorio, concluding that although the Don Juan plays have very different endings, Don Juan receives the proper punishment in both.]
In Spanish theater, a reversal of the protagonists' expectations marks the two principal plays which feature Don Juan Tenorio as the hero. In the seventeenth-century version by Tirso de Molina, The Trickster of Seville and the Stone Guest, Don Juan pursues his anarchic pleasures confident that salvation is only a deathbed confession away. He acts with impunity throughout the play, ignores the repeated admonitions of others, and ultimately finds damnation rather than salvation in the final apotheosis. On the other hand, in the nineteenth-century Romantic version by José de Zorrilla, Don Juan Tenorio, the hero acts out his role expecting damnation for his crimes only to be taken in hand and led to salvation by Doña Inés. These different endings prompt the present discussion, for in each play the dramatist presents a Providential design which is completed in the final destiny of the two Don Juans. At the same time, each playwright intertwines doctrinal considerations in the fabric of his play so that the story of Don...
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SOURCE: “The Roots of Desire in El Burlador de Seville,” in Forum for Modern Language Studies, Vol. XXII, No. 3, July, 1986, pp. 232-45.
[In the following essay, Evans discusses how de Molina, through his characters and language, exposes the cruelty and horror of human desire in El burlador de Sevilla.]
El burlador de Sevilla shares with Tirso's other plays a preoccupation with stereotypes of role and gender, but whereas, say, in El castigo del penséque, La mujer por fuerza, and La firmeza en la hermosura his focus is on viragos and timid or inept men, in this play attention is fixed primarily on an ideal of virility that had taken root throughout Europe by the beginning of the seventeenth century. As the burlador not just of Sevilla but also of España (p.655a), Don Juan seems in some respects through one particular dimension of his complex persona to embody a nation's stereotype of the virile man. While virility is allowed a temporary and illusory status as a symbol of assault on the stabilities and decay of civilised life, Tirso is nevertheless plainly in sombre mood in El burlador de Sevilla. More despairing of human achievement, glancing more anxiously than in the comedies at the darker patterns of life, Tirso is here simultaneously excavating—at the metaphysical level—human fears of the unknown, of the supernatural, and of death, and also...
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SOURCE: “Language and Seduction in El Burlador de Seville,” in Bulletin of the Comediantes, Vol. 40, No. 2, Winter, 1988, pp. 165-80.
[In the following essay, Mandrell analyzes the language of El burlador de Sevilla, focusing on de Molina's concerns with how the linguistics of the play affected seventeenth-century Spanish society.]
Critical wisdom holds that the four seductions in Tirso de Molina's El burlador de Sevilla y convidado de piedra are important in an external, referential sense and in an internal, structural one, that they serve to prove a point regarding Spanish society in general as well as to establish the structural frame and dramatic rhythm within the comedia. The social point of the seductions is straightforward enough: Don Juan respects neither the conventions of his own class (the nobility) nor those of his inferiors (the peasantry). Women of all classes qualify as potential objects of his desire. This fact, along with the division of the quartet of women into two noblewomen (the Duquesa Isabela and Doña Ana) and two villanas (Tisbea and Aminta), allows for a special kind of symmetry of action in the drama. Don Juan moves from the a seduction of an aristocrat to the seduction of a peasant, accomplishing his goal with apparently equal ease. So when Don Juan flees from Doña Ana, the third of his victims, it is only to be expected that he will end...
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SOURCE: “Doubles in Hell: El Burlador de Sevilla Y Convidado de Piedra,” in Hispanic Review, Vol. 58, No. 3, Summer, 1990, pp. 361-77.
[In the following essay, Arias examines why both Don Juan and the Commander perish in de Molina's El burlador de Sevilla, concluding that the violence committed by the Commander in the name of God is no more than Don Juan's violence committed in vain.]
Tirso de Molina's El burlador de Sevilla y convidado de piedra (c. 1630) is a play with a deceptively simple happy ending. After sinning against society and against God throughout the four adventures that compose the dramatic action, Don Juan finally meets with his just fate in the flames of hell. In the closing scene, the King heralds the return to social order by ordaining the marriage of Don Juan's victims; the source of the community's problems, he proclaims, has been dealt his just punishment from Heaven:
¡Justo castigo del cielo! Y agora es bien que se casen todos, pues la causa es muerta, vida de tantos desastres. (3.1057-60)
Here we see what critics commonly confirm: that the force of divine justice impels the play's particularly prominent movement from “order disturbed to order restored,” a movement which Arnold Reichenberger identifies as typical of the comedia in general (307).
One problem, however, obscures our understanding...
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SOURCE: “The ‘Burlador’ and the ‘Burlados’: A Sinister Connection,” in Bulletin of the Comediantes, Vol. 42, No. 1, Summer, 1990, pp. 5-22.
[In the following essay, Conlon examines the role of Don Juan in de Molina's El burlador de Sevillasuggesting that Don Juan's lack of motive or purpose in his cruelty towards women indicates that he symbolizes all male characters.]
El burlador de Sevilla begins with an error or, more precisely, a misidentification. In a darkened passageway of the palace of the king of Naples, Lady Isabela, who has just become Don Juan's first conquest in the play addresses the Burlador as “Duque Octavio.” Isabela is not alone in identifying Don Juan as Octavio: Viewers seeing the play for the first time would make the same mistake. They would have no reason to doubt that the man on stage is Octavio, and would continue to believe him to be the Duque until Isabela recognizes her error and disabuses them. To viewers the confusion of identities of Don Juan and Octavio might well suggest some symbolic connection between the two figures. They could conclude that Don Juan and Octavio share some fundamental likeness, one which could only emerge in such a tenebrous setting, after the blackness of night had obscured the characters' obvious differences. Subsequent misidentifications between Don Juan and the other burlados Mota and Batricio, might...
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Bushee, Alice. “The Five Partes of Tirso de Molina,” Hispanic Review III, no. 2 (1935): 89-102.
An article focusing on the rarity of de Molina's Partes.
Green, Otis H. “New Light on Don Juan: A Review Article,” Hispanic Review IX, no. 4 (1941): 89-102.
A review of Josquín Casalduero's book Contribución al estudio del tema de Don Juan en el treatro español, which takes a very broad, scholarly look at the theme of Don Juan.
Halstead, Frank G. “The Attitude of Tirso de Molina Toward Astrology,” Hispanic Review IX, no. 4 (1941): 89-102.
An article attempting to understand de Molina's ideology and views on freewill.
Morley, S. G. “Character Names in Tirso de Molina,” Hispanic Review XXVIII, no. 2 (1959): 222-227.
A superficial analysis of names used in de Molina's plays.
Sola-Solé, Josep M., and George E. Gingras, ed. Tirso's Don Juan: The Metamorphosis of a Theme Washington, D.C.: The Catholic University of America Press, 1988.
An in-depth study of de Molina's life and work.
Wilson, Margaret. Tirso de Molina. Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1977.
A collection of papers from an international symposium on de Molina, featuring a...
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