Recreación dramática de três santas portuguesas

Maria Isabel Barbeito


Irene, Isabel and Beatriz are three women whose spiritual path can be seen as ‘selfrecreation’. The hagiographers will report on a new recreation of those lives raised to sainthood, as an ideal to follow. Literary art assumes the so-called ‘recreation by antonomasia’. The article focuses on the dramatic genre, most specifically on the designated “comedies of saints”, more appropriately described in this case as “woman saints” which have as main characters the three
role models mentioned in the beginning. The authorship of this comedies is due to distinguished playwrights of the ‘Siglo de Oro’. All of them had obviously to adapt to the main characters of the national drama the hagiographic information at their disposal or, what amounts to the same, to Lope de Vega’s precept, unanimously accepted, although matured, as far as content is concerned,
by Calderón. The authors and their respective works are: Ángela de Acevedo, who dedicates La margarita del Tajo que dio nombre a Santarem to Saint Irene, with obvious signs of devotion and patriotism; Francisco de Rojas Zorrilla, besides showing in La gran comedia de Santa Isabel Reina de Portugal the strong woman with a mind or her own, who would configure the female pattern of his later works, allows also to perceive a political intention beyond the religious purpose. The four remaining plays, inspired by Beatriz de Silva within a high moment of devotion to the Holy Virgin, have as their authors: one, Tirso de Molina; another one attributed with reservations to Lope de Vega himself; two (first and second parts) we owe to Blas Fernández de Mesa.

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