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I examine how lope de vega drew upon an early comedia, La viuda, casada y doncella (1597), in devising two late masterpieces, Guzmán el Bravo and La prudente venganza, both printed in La Circe (1624). In particular, my study scrutinizes the ways that the novellas reconfigure episodes from the earlier comedia and traces the literary trail left by the process of rewriting. Three poles of attraction to La viuda, casada y doncella come to light: the comedia's success on stage during two decades; its renewed popularity as a literary work upon publication in the Parte 7 (1617); and the drama's Byzantine plot motifs. Such elements included vertiginous separations and reunions of lovers, storms, shipwrecks, captivity, and other trials—popularized in translations and adaptations of heliodorus's Aethiopica as well as in italian novellas and other literary genres—that had become touchstones of lope's literary practice, anchoring a host of comedias written in the late sixteenth or early seventeenth century, as well as his novel, El peregrino en su patria (1604). Ultimately, this examination of lope's rewriting—construed as a sustained and deliberate process of self-revision (auto-reescritura)—reveals that the Byzantine motifs adapted from his comedias were decisive in shaping his approach to the novela corta (novella) in the early 1620s.