Fuenteovejuna: The Sheepwell. Plays were divided into three acts and written in verse. The classical unities of time and place were disregarded although that of action was retained. Lope overturned classical decorum by mixing comic and tragic elements, and having both nobles even royalty and peasants appearing on the stage at the same time. Thematically, Lope drew inspiration from a wide variety of sources: e.
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First published in Madrid in , as part of Docena Parte de las Comedias de Lope de Vega Carpio Volume 12 of the Collected plays of Lope de Vega Carpio ,  the play is believed to have been written between and When a magistrate sent by King Ferdinand II of Aragon arrived at the village to investigate, the villagers, even under the pain of torture , responded only by saying "Fuenteovejuna did it.
Rapid change took place in Spain in the years between the historical incident at Fuenteovejuna in to the writing of Lope's play in In that time, Spain united under the Habsburgs and become a world superpower with the discovery of the New World. At the time of Lope's writing, Spain was still in the midst of a Siglo de Oro "Golden Century" , which saw growth in all fields of the arts and academics. With their marriage, the two major kingdoms of Spain - Castile and Aragon -were joined.
This marriage would later ensure the successful completion of the Christian Reconquista of Spain from the Muslim Moors. When Isabella ascended the throne upon the death of her half-brother, Enrique IV , in , Alfonso V of Portugal crossed into Spain in order to secure the throne for Juana, Princess of Castile , the daughter of Enrique. The city was of strategic importance due to its location near the border of Castile. After no single guilty party was found, Ferdinand pardoned the villagers from Fuenteovejuna.
The village and villagers of Fuenteovejuna are introduced and speak of love. The Commander enters and attempts to take two of the women, Laurencia and Pascuala, back to his castle, but they resist and escape.
Later, two young lovers, Laurencia and Frondoso, meet in the forest. When the Commander approaches, Frondoso hides and watches as the Commander attempts to force himself on Laurencia. As the Commander has put down his crossbow , Frondoso steps out and takes it. As Laurencia escapes his grasp, Frondoso points the crossbow at the Commander, but does not threaten him, leaving with only the crossbow as the Commander curses both of them.
Act II begins in the village with a discussion among the peasants that is interrupted by the entrance of the Commander.
He demands Esteban, Laurencia's father, to allow him to have her but he refuses and the Commander takes this as an insult. A soldier enters and begs the Commander to return to Ciudad Real Royal City which has just been surrounded by the forces of Ferdinand and Isabella.
After the exit of the Commander, Laurencia and Pascuala go on the run with one of the peasants, Mengo. They are met by another peasant girl, Jacinta, who is being pursued by the Commander's servants. When Mengo protects her, they are both seized by the Commander's lackeys who will whip Mengo while Jacinta is raped by the Commander and then given to his men. Shortly afterwards, Esteban agrees to allow Laurencia and Frondoso to marry.
The wedding proceeds but is interrupted by the Commander who arrests Frondoso, for his threat with the crossbow, as well as Esteban and Laurencia who protest his arrest.
The third act opens with the men of the village meeting to decide how to handle the situation. Laurencia, having been beaten and subject to attempted Droit du seigneur though she beats off her attackers and escapes enters, but is not immediately recognized.
She reprimands the men for not attempting to rescue her, inspiring the men to kill the Commander. While preparations are being made to hang Frondoso, the band of villagers enters and kills the Commander and one of his servants. Flores, the surviving servant, escapes and rushes to Ferdinand and Isabella to tell what has happened. The shocked rulers order a magistrate to the village to investigate.
The villagers, celebrating with the head of the Commander, are told of the magistrate's approach. In order to save themselves, the villagers say "Fuenteovejuna did it". The magistrate proceeds to torture men, women, and young boys on the rack , but gives up after not receiving a satisfactory answer.
Ferdinand and Isabella pardon the Grand Master and when the villagers enter and tell their story, they are pardoned as well. Class struggle is one of the key concepts as there is a large gap between those in power and those without, namely farmers and peasants. The commander holes up the town with his power and wealth.
Only as a collective are they able to fight back. Women's right's are another major theme, surprising as it may be for the time of this writing. The commander has taken the city as his personal harem. Once the attempted rape occurs with Laurencia, his downfall begins. An additional theme as is tradition versus progress. Spain at the time was in the middle of much change per the backdrop of the play.
The deaths of the Commander and Ortuno is not just murder but mutiny. While Ferdinand and Isabella decline to find the town guilty; they are not please to pardon them either despite the brutality. The Soviet ballet Laurencia was based on Fuenteovejuna. The play has been filmed several times in Spanish and other languages, but never in English. A musical version, called Fuente Ovehuna , was produced in A musical version of the play was produced by the State Theatre of Northern Greece in , with music by Thanos Mikroutsikos and lyrics by Yorgos Michaelides.
The Toronto Globe and Mail gave the production a favorable review. It opens her inaugural season as Artistic Director of Stratford East. This contemporary work is set in India. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Spanish play written between and This article is about the play by Lope de Vega. For the city in Andalusia, see Fuente Obejuna. Oxford University Press, , p.
All rights whatsoever in this play are strictly reserved and application for performance etc. No performance may be given unless a licence has been obtained. Lope de Vega's play Fuente Ovejuna is a recognised masterpiece by a major writer of the Spanish Golden Age, depicting one of the most memorable acts of resistance in world drama. First published in Madrid in , the play is believed to have been written between and It is based upon an actual historical incident that took place in the village of Fuente Ovejuna now called Fuente Obejuna in Castile in The play's action follows the historical incident closely.