Tuesday, November 25, 2014

¡Feliz Cumpleaños, Lope de Vega!

AKA Félix Arturo Lope de Vega y Carpio.

Born November 25, 1562. Died August 27, 1635.

He was one of the most prolific playwrights in history and his literary reputation in Spain is second only to that of author Miguel Cervantes. He was also nicknamed "The Phoenix of Wits" and "Monster of Nature" by Cervantes due to the large amount of his work. Although Lope de Vega himself is not all that well-known in the English-speaking world, his plays were presented in England as late as the 1660s.

He is said to have written some 3,000 sonnets, 3 novels, 4 novellas, 9 epic poems, and about 1,800 plays, 80 of which have been called masterpieces. He has been even envied by the German author Johann Wolfgang von Goethe who once wished he could create such a vast body of work as Lope de Vega's.

Oddly enough, he is rarely mentioned nowadays save by hardcore Spanish literary buffs. But he made quite an impression on me in high school Spanish class and again when one of my local colleges staged one of his plays. Then again, we can't all be fans of that Shakespeare chap.

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