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ing in the conclusion. Mr. Roaten analysed the complexity of the plot, with its four threads of action closely interwoven, and its rapid movement from one to the other, all the actions converging towards the conclusion , but with a great deal of the force and speed that usually go with baroque convergence lost through an untimely anticipation of the dénouement. Alarcón's failure to bring all the threads together to a climactic conclusion produces something of an anticlimax when convergence occurs long after the questions posed by the love-stories have been resolved. While Alarcón's interest in his moral lesson may account for this structural flaw, the failure to conduct the various motifs to a forceful convergence was not unknown among the playwrights of the time (e.g. Guillen de Castro's Las mocedades del Cid). This would suggest the possibility of basing value judgments upon a formal investigation rather than on an impressionistic intuition. In the almost heated discussion that followed , Prof. Wade wondered if form wert not dependent upon content, and the controversial question of esthetic standards was inevitably (and perhaps not too fruitfully) taken up, with views expressed in favor of the absolute, the relative and the relatively absolute standard. The plea that baroque drama, like any other special art form, should be judged by its own standards and not in terms of classical or realistic drama, did not go unchallenged. It was also pointed out that the intention of the author should be kept in mind when estimating formal structures. Alarcón's moral aim largely determined the handling of plot and characters, his choice of technique being quite appropriate for the lesson he wanted to teach if not quite in keeping with baroque style. The need of studying the structure of language when considering formal problems was generally recognized, but time limits had compelled the omission of this and other related topics from the papers discussed. It was suggested by Prof. Hesse that the study of the same play by several members might prove useful in the future, as a means of contrasting interpretations. It was agreed, however, that this would be profitable only if a single aspect of the play were studied. —D. M. A Production of Calderón's El gran teatro del mundo by Myron A. Peyton, The College of Wooster Following a custom of offering each year two evenings of foreign-language plays, the department of Spanish and Italian of The College of Wooster presented in April of 1955 a version of Calderón's auto sacramental, El gran teatro del mundo. The present writer edited the script and was assisted in the production by Professor Charles L. Adams. It was my good fortune to have witnessed an excellent presentation of this auto in Madrid, at the Teatro Español, on Maundy Thursday of 1952. There the ingenuity of staging, the vividness of hangings and installations , and the clarity of the coordination made this representational type of drama both lively and impressive. There is no need to emphasize its solemnity and deep religious appeal. The basis of my script was the Clásicos Castellanos text. Much of the early descriptions of the universe and the majesty of the firmaments was omitted in order to begin at the point where the Autor bids El Mundo to stage a play that will show forth "the great theater of the world." Of course, many of the lines had to be cut in the dialogues that follow, since we had to fit our production to fifty minutes of the total program. A further major cut was made when the worldly characters return their costumes and "props," symbolic of their positions or callings , to El Mundo. Eleven main characters make up the cast. Of these, all but two were women students. Even El Mundo was a woman! The Autor, 12 who of course represents God, and El Rey were necessarily played by men. Thus El Labrador in our script became La Labranza, El Pobre became La Pobreza, etc. In our opinion, this change made no difference in the effectiveness of the play. In presenting an auto sacramental the most interesting problems are...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1944-0928
Print ISSN
0007-5108
Pages
pp. 12-13
Launched on MUSE
2014-01-08
Open Access
No
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