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cation of the Comedia with the beliefs of the Spanish people and of the persistence of these beliefs at a period in which elsewhere the Enlightment was in full swing. The convictions of the Spaniards became cristallized to such a degree that they found pointed stylistic expression in compact and significant títulos de comedias, often of an almost proverbial character. One need only to cast a comparative glance at the titles of plays of other national theaters to become aware of the fact that the Comedia is probably unique in its profusion of titles designed to drive home ? moral lesson in an obvious and plain fashion, understandable to all. Pieza D also serves to complement the various studies by F. C. Hayes on "The Use of Proverbs as Titles in the Siglo de Oro Drama" (HR, Vl [1938]; VII [1939]; XV [1947]. The Plays mentioned in the five piezas belong generally to Calderón and his school. Only in pieza D we find a greater number of comedias by Lope (U) and his predecessors and contemporaries (cf. pp. 185, 187), receiving thus a precious clue to the taste of the theatergoing public of the eighteenth centurv. 1 Homero Serís lists the Barcelona collection on p. 274 of his Manual de bibliografia de la literatura española, Syracuse, 1948, but not the "Cuatro piezas . . .", at least not on p. 298 under "Obra? de títulos de comedias." - Roth publications are the result of investigations carried out in the "curso de investigación" given by Jorge Rubio y Lluch at the University of Barcelona. The authors indicate (pp. 213, 156) that they were in fact the editors of work undertaken collectively by themselves and their compa ñeros (whom they name). The Churchman in the Spanish Drama Before Lope de Vega by Gabriel H. Lovett, New York University, Wash. Sq. INTRODUCTION If we examine the Spanish drama of the early sixteenth century, we find that priests and friars appear quite frequently. Very often they are made the butt of ridicule and are given a far from flattering personality. The drama of the period reflects the lamentable condition of the Spanish Church and the dissoluteness of its members. As in the other countries of Western Europe, the Church in Spain had been going—and was still going—through a severe crisis. Immorality and laxity in its own ranks as well as Protestantism, which emerged in Europe at the beginning of the sixteenth century, were posing a serious threat to its very existence . It was only through the militancy of the Catholic Counterreformation, promulgated by the Council of Trent (1545-1563) :md strongly supported by Philip II of Spain (1556-1598), that the Spanish Church as well as its sister-churches in Europe weathered the storm. Important reforms were introduced and Spanish supporters of the Protestant rebellion were ruthlessly exterminated . After 1560, the tightening of censorship , the increasing vigilance of the Church in all matters touching its realni, forced playwrights to become more cautious in their references to the Church, and in the plays of the second half of the century we see hardly any comic churchmen. While reflecting conditions of the times, the churchmen in the Spanish Renaissance drama must at the same time be considered a product of the relationship between Church and drama. One cannot fail to see this if one keeps in mind the following considerations : 1.The clergy was intimately connected with the production and presentation of medieval religious plays. 2.In many cases, because of the influence of profane activities, such as songs, dances, pantomimes, etc., the medieval religious plays lost their initial sacred quality and a number of abuses arose. Among the latter we single out the participation of churchmen in irreverent dramatic activity and the parodying of sacred rites and ceremonies by churchmen .1 3. In the religious drama of the sixteenth century, that is, the drama which was born in the bosom of the Church and was developed by the Church, the secular and regular clergy usually act as spokesmen for the Church. THE CHURCHMAN AS A COMIC CHARACTER When the priest or friar is treated as a comic character the element which makes...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1944-0928
Print ISSN
0007-5108
Pages
pp. 10-13
Launched on MUSE
2014-01-08
Open Access
No
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