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Satire of the Spanish Golden Age

Alberta Gatti

Subject Literature

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405119559.2007.00009.x


In the sixteenth and the seventeenth centuries, spanning the Renaissance and Baroque periods, Spanish writers produced an unparalleled quantity and quality of literature. From the popular to the learned, lyric, pastoral, epic, religious, and satiric poetry flourished with works by Garcilaso de la Vega (1501?-36), Fray Luis de León (1527–91), San Juan de la Cruz (1542–91), Luis de Góngora (1561–1627), Lope de Vega (1562–1635), and Francisco de Quevedo (1580–1645). The art of playwriting was renewed by Lope de Vega, who, in the spirit of the new age, created the national theater. Calderón de la Barca (1600–80), author of the philosophical comedy La vida es sueño (Life is a Dream), followed. Prose evolved from the early work of Ricardo de Rojas, La Celestina (1499), which contained the seeds of a layered fiction, to the creation of the picaresque novel, with the publication of Lazarillo de Tormes (1554) — and culminated with what is considered the first modern novel, Cervantes' masterpiece Don Quijote de la Mancha (the first part was published in 1605 and the second in 1615). Language, literature, and empire had begun to evolve in synchronism. In 1492, the humanist Antonio de Nebrija (1444–1522) presented his grammar of Castilian to Queen Isabella, which was the first grammatical compilation of a modern European language. The queen inquired about its usefulness, and the Bishop ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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