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Approaches to Teaching Early Modern Spanish Drama

Editor(s): Laura R. Bass, Margaret R. Greer

Pages: xiii & 281 pp.
Published: 2006
ISBN: 9780873529952 (paperback)
ISBN: 9780873529945 (hardcover)

"These master teachers share years of experience in bringing important works to life for students who can then make connections to our modern dilemmas and values. This rich volume is a valuable addition to the Approaches to Teaching series and is recommended reading for instructors and students alike."
Midwest Modern Language Association

"This volume is a mine of information, insight, and inspiration for teachers of Golden Age theatre throughout the English-speaking world."
Bulletin of Spanish Studies



At the start of the twenty-first century, performances of early modern Spanish drama experienced resurgent popularity--not only in Spain but also on stages across Europe, Latin America, and the United States. In the academy the comedia, which includes comic, tragicomic, and tragic works, is widely taught in a range of contexts to a variety of students, in Spanish and in translation. Given the steady increase of Spanish as the language of choice in foreign language departments, these courses will continue to flourish. This volume offers guidance to teachers in helping students engage with and understand these late-sixteenth- and early-seventeenth-century works.

Part 1, "Materials," evaluates editions and anthologies in English and Spanish; identifies important critical works and historical studies; and surveys illustrated books, films, and Internet resources. In part 2, "Approaches," experienced teachers discuss the way the plays challenged the interests of the monarchial state; examine the obsession with honor shared by Spanish men and women alike; explain the key role costume played in providing both pleasure and meaning; and explore how late-twentieth-century films reflect elements of these early Spanish plays. Other approaches center on five women playwrights; delve into the complex theological and philosophical underpinnings of the plays; pair the plays with Shakespearean drama; show how Spanish plays influenced French dramatists; and trace the appeal of the Don Juan figure.


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