(Masterpieces of World Literature, Critical Edition)

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...

(The entire section is 761 words.)


(Critical Survey of Literature for Students)

The Bridegroom’s Mother is unhappy when she learns that her son wishes to be married to the woman he desires. In spite of her sorrow at losing him, she commands him to go buy fine presents for the Bride. The Bridegroom’s Mother is also unhappy because the Bridegroom is her only surviving child. Her husband and her older son were killed many years before in fights with members of the Felíx family. Since then, the Bridegroom’s Mother lived in fear that the only surviving man in her family, the Bridegroom, might also fall a victim to someone’s knife or gun. She tells her son that she wishes he was born a girl, to sit in the house and knit instead of going out among men.

After the Bridegroom leaves the house to go buy gifts for the Bride, gifts to be presented when the parents meet, a neighbor stops to see his Mother. The neighbor tells the Bridegroom’s Mother that there is bad blood in the Bride’s veins, inherited from her mother. She also says that Leonardo, a member of the hated Felíx family and a cousin of the Bride, wooed the Bride unsuccessfully before his own marriage three years earlier. The Bridegroom’s Mother grows uneasy at the news, but she determines to carry through her part in the marriage customs because her son is in love and because the Bride’s Father owns rich vineyards comparable to those of her own family.

Meanwhile word of the proposed marriage reaches Leonardo, who still is in love with the Bride. In fact, he rides many miles to her house to see her whenever he has the chance. For some time both Leonardo’s Wife and her mother realized that something was wrong. Leonardo is curt and sharp with his Wife for no reason at all, and he fails to take much notice of their child.

The next day the Bride’s servant prepares her to meet with her father, the Bridegroom, and the Bridegroom’s Mother in order to make plans for the wedding. The servant accuses the Bride of permitting Leonardo to visit late at night. The Bride, without denying the fact, merely indicates that she is not very happy at the prospect of marrying the Bridegroom.

After the arrival of the Bridegroom and his Mother, it is decided to have the wedding take place on the following Thursday, the Bride’s twenty-second birthday. The Bride says that she will welcome the chance to shut out the world from her life and devote herself to the Bridegroom. A short time after the Bridegroom and his Mother depart, Leonardo’s horse is heard neighing beneath the Bride’s window.

The day of the wedding arrives, and early in the morning the servant begins to prepare the Bride for the ceremony. The Bride is not happy. When the servant begins to...

(The entire section is 1097 words.)