Blood Wedding bestowed fame and fortune overnight on its author. In 1928, García Lorca read a newspaper account of a wedding that ended in tragic circumstances near Almería in southern Spain. He clipped the article, reread it five years later, and in a week finished his play, which became a hit in Madrid, Barcelona, and Buenos Aires. In Blood Wedding, García Lorca forcefully presents the theme of his three tragedies: Love that is unfulfilled because of the need to preserve honor and appearances results in death. A good-natured, hardworking young man contracts matrimony with a woman. The bridegroom is the only surviving member of a family that has been involved in a feud with the Felixes, and his mother is still overcome with a mixture of rage and fear that her only surviving son will meet the same fate. In rural Spain, where there were no secrets, it was known that the bride had been seeing someone else before the engagement. She is still madly in love with Leonardo (of the Felix family), who is married and the father of a boy. While the wedding celebration continues with singing and dancing, Leonardo rides away with the new bride. He is pursued by the groom, and the two men kill each other, thus causing the mother’s forebodings to come true.
This simple plot summary does little to account for the sharp visual and verbal impact of the drama. García Lorca assigned a different color to each one of the scenes and characters. The groom’s house has yellow walls, a pink cross accents the bride’s dwelling, and the scene of the wedding has shades of whites, grays, and cool blues. Flowers are assigned to each character: carnations to the groom, a crown of orange blossoms to the bride. Folk lullabies are used for their musical effect and to advance the plot, and folk dances enliven the foreground of the wedding, while in the...
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