Patriotism and Revolt: Uncovering the Portuguese in Ângela de Azevedo


Portuguese authors published widely in Spanish during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, especially during the Spanish occupation from 1580 to 1640. As the literary language of prestige, Spanish offered them avenues of fame and wealth that were not available otherwise. While most Portuguese writers abandoned their native tongue at one time or another to write in Spanish, not all did so in order to conform to the wave of castilianization absorbing the peninsula. Ângela de Azevedo, for one, used her Spanish proficiency to glorify Portugal and perpetuate its cultural heritage abroad. The setting, characterization, and language in each of Azevedo's comedias clearly establish a strong sense of patriotism and revolt within her works. Discovering the relationship between Azevedo's Portuguese identity and the content of her plays not only promotes a better understanding of the dramatist and her works, but also advances the important correlation between language, nationality, and literature. (JWW)