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Of the hundreds of existing comedias, only a very small percentage has actually received critical attention. Those few that have been studied in greatest depth, such as La vida es sueño, El burlador de Sevilla, Fuenteovejuna, and the like, might be said to represent the most interesting, if not the best, plays in the entire body of comedias.1 Nevertheless, for every famous comedia, there are literally scores of lesser known and never read plays. Perhaps their lack of attention is mute testimony to their mediocrity, but they are nonetheless comedias and are of critical interest for two reasons. First, they are artistic creations and, as such, deserve to be studied on philosophical grounds as much as any other creation. Second, they are comedias, and any sweeping generalization about the nature of the comedia should apply to them as well as to any others.

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American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese

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