In what ways do time & place matter in Blood Wedding by Lorca?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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In terms of the action within the drama, place is an important construction. The yellow setting of the Bridegroom's home reflects the prosperity and sense of promise associated with wealth.  This setting is where the action develops, reflecting that wealth and conditions of material promise are passing. The setting of a village helps to enhance the universal feel of the play's themes. The mother's intense discussion with her son reflects how there are conditions in consciousness that are never fully pacified with time.  The backdrop of a village that has withstood the changing of time helps to feed this idea.  

Another example of a place that carries importance is the setting of the forest. The location to where the bride and Leonardo escape captures the feeling of naturalism, triggering the most intense of passions and experiences.  In the dark reaches of the forest, both lovers embrace.  It is in this setting where the bride must be cursed to wear the blood of both her intended and Leonardo on her dress.  Time and place occupy an importance in the drama's actions.  Both contexts within the drama help to convey the timeless nature of the most base of human emotions. Passion, anger, and hurt are universal, conveyed in the place and time in which the drama is set.

Time and place also play a significant role in the writing of the drama.  Lorca is deliberate in the construction of his drama.  He understands the context in which the drama is written.  Lorca understands that there there needed to be a shift in the construction of the Spanish theatre:  

Outside of Madrid, the theatre, which is in its very essence a part of the life of the people, is almost dead, and the people suffer accordingly, as they would if they had lost their two eyes, or ears, or a sense of taste. We [La Barraca] are going to give it back to them.

This is the time in which Lorca writes Blood Wedding.  It might help to explain why there are such primal and intense emotions featured in the drama.  Lorca understands the need to pivot from the context of Spanish theatre's lacking any real and substantive investigation of emotional consciousness.

Lorca recognized that the context of the theatre had to pivot to what could be as opposed to what was.  Lorca sought to transform theatre: "The theatre is a school of weeping and of laughter, a free forum, where men can question norms that are outmoded or mistaken and explain with living example the eternal norms of the human heart."  This underscores the development of Blood Wedding as one that embodies "the eternal norms of the human heart."

At the same time, Lorca grasped that the time and place in which he was writing was one besieged with forces that sought to silence the artist's voice. Lorca understood the need to fight "the good fight."  Part of this existed in writing literature that depicted the human struggle.  At a time when political forces sought to control the theatre and deliver its message through art, Lorca took a deliberate stance against such a context.  Blood Wedding does not present an arbitrarily unified view of consciousness.  Rather, it depicts a reality in which individuals struggle under the weight of being in the world.  In contrast to the politicized time and place in which he writes, Lorca seeks to compose a work that is universal in its approach and reach.  It is in this way where time and place are relevant to the drama's composition.

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