VEGA, Lope de

Credited with having created what is now called "the grand national theater of Spain," Lope Felix de Vega y Carpio wrote well over one thousand works of poetry as well as drama. Lope de Vega was extremely popular and admired by different social classes, perhaps due to having put so many of his works into print during his lifetime.
Lope de Vega was born in Madrid on 25 November 1562, a year after the monarch Philip II* made the city into the seat of the Spanish Empire. Lope's father had abandoned his wife and two sons in Valladolid for a life in Madrid, but his wife eventually followed him to the capital, won him back, and con­ceived Lope. Lope later alludes to this family adventure in his poem "Epistle to Amarilis." Lope's colleague and biographer Perez de Montalban wrote that Lope was a brilliant student, far surpassing his classmates, and went on to study at the Jesuit College and later at the Royal Academy. Around 1577-82 Lope, under the patronage of the bishop of Avila, attended the University of Alcala, but abandoned his studies there due to "love problems."
An actor's daughter, Elena Osorio, was Lope's first significant love. In his poems, often drawn from life experiences, he alludes to Elena as "Filis." Years later, he resuscitates her in one of his major works, La Dorotea, a novel written with a dramatic structure. Elena was married, but her husband was frequently absent, and her family tolerated Lope as long as he kept turning out comedies for her father. After the couple broke up, Elena's father sued him for defamation, which landed Lope in jail and subsequently in an eight-year exile from the court and two-year exile from the kingdom under penalty of death.
After further adventures leading to a hasty marriage with a courtier's daughter, Isabel de Urbina, and a stint with the "invincible armada" at sea, he and Isabel moved to Valencia, where he produced many verse romances and comedies. His fame took off. After his sentence of exile expired, he moved to Toledo, where he became secretary to the duke of Alba and wrote his pastoral novel La Arcadia, in which Lope recorded the duke's amorous affairs. His wife, Isabel, died in 1594 while giving birth to their second daughter, who also died shortly thereafter. The poet then moved back to Madrid, where he married a wealthy butcher's daughter, Juana de Guardo. In 1614, after his wife, Juana, had died and his mistress with two surviving children had moved in with him, Lope was ordained a priest.
Like his love life, Lope's social life was fraught with highs and lows. Lope had always aspired to court circles, but despite his many titled acquaintances, connections, and employers, he was never truly accepted among the aristocracy. He was chronically impoverished throughout his life, which might have led in part to his enormous literary production. One of Lope's most ardent followers was the noted playwright Tirso de Molina. Another noted writer, Francisco de Quevedo, was also Lope's friend and commemorated him in The Laurel of Apollo. Yet Lope had his detractors, most notably the famous poet Luis de Gongora.* Besides Gongora, the most noted detractor was Cervantes,* who criticized Lope's new style of theater. But Cervantes was seldom publicly judg­mental of Lope, despite having joined in Gongora's ridicule of Lope's self-invented family crest. Gongora, who wrote highly complex verse, never admired Lope's unadorned style, which he found vulgar.
Lope de Vega had written about 150 comedies by the turn of the century. Dubbed the "new comedy," his style is formulaic, but the themes are extremely varied. Written in an anachronistic style, often in a lyric present, the comedies are popular and vivacious, not elite. Setting aside the three unities of time, place, and action, Lope's momentum is unceasing, and there are great leaps in time and place. Lope does not separate tears from laughter, nobility from common life; often his comedies lack a marked protagonist. Lope developed a gracioso, or clownish figure, possibly based on an impoverished servant-student type fre­quently found in the universities. Rather than stick to the convention of unified meter, he varied his meter in accordance with the character or situation. His themes range across a wide variety of subjects: religion, mythology, chivalry, history, pastoral fictions, and Spanish legends. Of the last type, his most famous play is Fuente Ovejuna, a drama of collective revenge that deals with democ­racy, the noble character of the lower classes, and the role of the monarchy in disassembling the feudal system of nobility.
A. Flores, Lope de Vega: Monster of Nature, 1969.
H. Rennert, The Life of Lope de Vega, 1562-1635, 1968.
Y. Yarbro-Bejarano, Feminism and the Honor Plays ofLope de Vega, 1994.
Ana Kothe

Renaissance and Reformation 1500-1620: A Biographical Dictionary. . 2001.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Vega,Lope de — Vega (vāʹgə, bĕʹgä), Lope de. 1562 1635. Spanish playwright whose enormous body of works, including Fuenteovejuna (c. 1619), established the national drama of Spain. Nearly 500 of his more than 2,000 plays are extant. * * * …   Universalium

  • Vega, Lope de — in full Lope Félix de Vega Carpio born Nov. 25, 1562, Madrid, Spain died Aug. 27, 1635, Madrid Spanish playwright, the outstanding dramatist of the Spanish Golden Age. After serving with the Spanish Armada, he lived in Madrid, serving as… …   Universalium

  • Vega, Lope de — p. ext. Félix Lope de Vega y Carpio (25 nov. 1562, Madrid, España–27 ago. 1635, Madrid). Poeta, novelista y dramaturgo español, una de las figuras más sobresaliente del Siglo de Oro español. Después de servir en la Armada Invencible, se instaló… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Lope de vega — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Lope et Vega (homonymie). Lope de Vega (peinture du XVI° ou XVII …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Lope Félix De Vega Carpio — Lope de Vega. Lope de Vega (* 25. November 1562 in Madrid; † 27. August 1635 ebenda; vollständiger Name: Félix Lope de Vega Carpio) war ein bedeutender spanischer Dichter des sogenannten Goldenen Zeitalters (span. Siglo de Oro) …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Lope de Vega — Lope de Vega. Lope de Vega (* 25. November 1562 in Madrid; † 27. August 1635 ebenda; vollständiger Name: Félix Lope de Vega Carpio) war ein bedeutender spanischer Dichter des sogenannten Goldenen Zeitalters (span. Siglo de Oro) …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Vega Carpio — Vega Cạrpio   [ beɣa ], Lope Félix de, Kurzform Lope de Vega [ lope ȓe ], spanischer Dichter, * Madrid 25. 11. 1562, ✝ ebenda 27. 8. 1635; stammte aus einfachen Verhältnissen, besuchte das Madrider Jesuitenkolleg, studierte 1577 82 in Alcalá de… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Vega — puede referirse a: Contenido 1 Geografía 2 Lugares 2.1 en Colombia 2.2 en España 2.3 en Noruega …   Wikipedia Español

  • Lope de Vega —   [ lope ȓe βeɣa], spanischer Dichter, Vega Carpio, Lope Félix de.   …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Lope — es un nombre de pila español actualmente en desuso, pero que se conserva en el apellido patronímico López. Proviene del latín lupus, lobo.[1] Es el nombre de las siguientes personas: Siglo XI Lope Íñiguez Siglo XII Lope Díaz I de Haro Lope Díaz… …   Wikipedia Español

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