Other Literary Forms

(Critical Edition of Dramatic Literature)

Though Tirso de Molina is remembered primarily as a dramatist, he also wrote two prose miscellanies, Los cigarrales de Toledo (1624; the country houses of Toledo) and Deleytar aprovechando (1635; teaching while entertaining), as well as Historia general de la orden de Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes (1639; general history of the Mercedarian order).

Tirso de Molina Achievements

(Critical Edition of Dramatic Literature)

Tirso de Molina is recognized—along with Lope de Vega Carpio, Pedro Calderón de la Barca, and Juan Ruiz de Alarcón —as one of the four major dramatists of Spain’s great period of literary and artistic excellence known as its Golden Age (c. 1592-1681). The exact nature of his contribution to the drama of this period is, however, somewhat difficult to define. A comparison with Lope de Vega and Calderón shows him to lack both the poetic humanity of the former and the intellectual majesty of the latter; unlike Ruiz de Alarcón, Tirso does not excel in the production of a particular type of drama. An examination of the fifty-four plays of which he is the undisputed author reveals a diverse collection of historical dramas, pious saints’ lives, and frivolous comedies of seduction and marriage.

Tirso is known internationally as the author of the famous theological play The Trickster of Seville, a work that is indirectly the source of the libretto of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Don Giovanni (1787), and he probably is in fact the author of this drama, though there is some uncertainty concerning this. The authorship of The Saint and the Sinner, the other great theological drama attributed to him, is similarly subject to question.

Tirso de Molina Bibliography

(Critical Edition of Dramatic Literature)

Albrecht, Jane. Irony and Theatricality in Tirso de Molina. Ottawa, Canada: Dovehouse Editions, 1994. This study of Tirso de Molina also examines the Spanish theater of his time. Includes bibliography and index.

Halkhoree, P. R. K. Social and Literary Satire in the Comedies of Tirso de Molina. Ottawa, Canada: Dovehouse Editions, 1989. This study examines the use of social satire in the comedies of Tirso de Molina. Includes bibliography.

Hesse, Everett Wesley. Tirso’s Art in “La venganza de Tamar”: Tragedy of Sex and Violence. York, S.C.: Spanish Literature Publishing, 1991. Provides a critical analysis of Tirso de Molina’s Tamar’s Revenge. Includes bibliography.

Hughes, Ann Nickerson. Religious Imagery in the Theater of Tirso de Molina. Macon, Ga.: Mercer, 1984. Hughes presents a study of Tirso de Molina’s plays in respect to his handling of religious imagery. Includes bibliography.

Levin, Leslie. Metaphors of Conversion in Seventeenth Century Spanish Drama. Rochester, N.Y.: Tamesis, 1999. This study of seventeenth century Spanish theater focuses on Tirso de Molina and Pedro Calderón de la Barca and the topic of conversion. Includes bibliography.

Sola-Solé, Josep M., and Geroge E. Gingras, eds. Tirso’s Don Juan: The Metamorphosis of a Theme. Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America Press, 1988. This collection of papers from a symposium on Tirso de Molina held in Washington, D.C., in November, 1985, discusses the dramatist’s depiction of the Don Juan character in The Trickster of Seville. Includes bibliography.

Sullivan, Henry W., and Raúl A. Galoppe, eds. Tirso de Molina: His Originality Then and Now. Ottawa Hispanic Studies 20. Ottawa: Dovehouse Editions, 1996. A critical analysis and interpretation of Tirso de Molina’s works with reference to his originality. Bibliography.

Wilson, Margaret. Tirso de Molina. Boston: Twayne, 1977. A basic biography of Tirso de Molina that covers his life and works. Includes bibliography and index.