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Ignacio Arellano

Competing for applause in theatres in the Golden Age: from Lope de Vega to the ‘new birds’ URL:

Competing for the applause, all kind confrontations, especially literary, occur between different protagonists. The most significant of all is Lope de Vega, who in the times of his complete control over the stages of the Golden Age does not face any important rivals. Nevertheless, Lope himself looks askance at other playwrights like Tirso de Molina or Mira de Amescua, whose works he sometimes comments pejoratively in his letters. The main enemy in comedy for Lope was Cervantes, who in El Quixote —among other places— makes a harsh critic of the new comedy, before surrendering to the fantastic popular success of Lope and resigning to his own failure, as the theatrical companies rejected the Cervantian comedies, which pretend to be more reasonable and sensible than the ones he feels are nonsense for the pleb. If Lope sees himself as the winner of this first confrontation for the applause, he is much more wary along the last period of his life, when the theatrical monarchy feel sieged by the new generations, especially in the figure of Calderón. The death of Lope in 1635, the year in which La vida es sueño was published, prevents the announced confrontation between the generations of playwrights to happen in its maximum dimension. The conference will examine these relationships, rivalries and competences for the applause of the audience and the patronage of the court.

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