Spanish Studies in Shakespeare and His Contemporaries

Spanish Studies in Shakespeare and His Contemporaries

Spanish Studies in Shakespeare and His Contemporaries

Spanish Studies in Shakespeare and His Contemporaries

Synopsis

Spanish Studies in Shakespeare and His Contemporaries offers a selection of the most significant studies on Shakespeare and his contemporaries from a variety of perspectives in order to present a fresh and inclusive vision of Shakespearean criticism in Spain to reach a worldwide readership. Plurality, maturity, and diversity are its outstanding characteristics as the transition has given shape to new critical attitudes, readings, and approaches in the analysis and study of Shakespeare in the new Spain.

Excerpt

José Manuel González

The arrival of democracy in spain after FRANCO’S death in 1975 brought a new cultural consciousness and critical sensibility that had a great impact on Shakespearean criticism. a variety of approaches and interpretations have arisen from new critical attitudes in the analysis and study of Shakespearean texts in accordance with contextual needs and literary expectations. the lack of a proper tradition in the interpretation of the Shakespearean literary canon—whose criticism, translations, and performances had been neglected in the past—has been compensated for by the number of critical works published in the last twenty years or so.

Some internal or literary facts can be cited to justify the previously negative picture of Shakespeare’s critical reception in Spain. He was not considered a central figure in the Spanish canon where authors like Cervantes, Calderón, or Lope, who played more significant roles within Spanish culture and tradition, were the subjects of the greater part of the critical output. the theatrical crisis and permanent financial difficulties of the Spanish theater had a negative effect on the study and staging of Shakespeare’s plays, as well as on those of the Spanish dramatists of the Golden Age, because theaters were in constant need of public subsidies and support.

Shakespearean criticism in Spain was also affected by the social, political, and historical situation. His popularity and acceptance depended on nonliterary factors and circumstances. Spanish isolation from the rest of Europe meant a traditional resistance to any foreign influence, especially from England, whose culture was regarded as imperialist and aggressive. in fact, Shakespeare came to be known in Spain through French translations, which were convenient for the intellectual elite throughout the nineteenth-century. the democratic process and the admission of Spain to the European Community in 1986 are significant features in explaining the spectacular growth . . .

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