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Transcript of Blood Wedding
Written in 1932 by Federico García Lorca, Blood Wedding is a tragedy which was first performed in Madrid in 1933. It was well recieved both in Spain and abroad, but was banned during the dictatorship of Francisco Franco from 1939 and 1975.
Federico García Lorca
Garcia Lorca is considered the most important Spanish poet and dramatist of the 20th Century. He was born in 1898 in Granada, and was execued by Nationalist forces at the beginning of the Spanish Civil War.
Blood Wedding was influenced by Garcia Lorca's love of spanish music and culture, as it uses folk music as plot devices. However, it was more directly inspired by a crime committed in 1928, in which a
bride ran away with her cousin, before her wedding,
and the bridegroom's brother shot her cousin dead.
Lorca followed the investigation closely, and his
characters were heavily influenced by the people
involved. For example, the woman in question was
'of independent character', much like the Bride in the
The play was written in an intense burst of activity
whilst listening to a Bach cantata repeatedly.
Period - Historical Context
At the start of the 20th Century, Spain was a constitutional monarchy, however the Spanish had little faith in this regime because of persistent economic instability. In some industrialised parts of the country, groups were looking forward in terms of culture and were eager to see Spain ruled by a left-wing, socialist government. They thought that the classist society wasn't able to accommodate a new working and middle class, which as made up of former peasants who wouldn't tolerate the old class hierarchy. These new social groups were forces of change that posed a drastic break from centuries of tradition. Other groups wanted to maintain the traditional class structure. Lorca was on the side of change. Lorca's relationship with the left-wing government which was voted into power in 1931 were friendly, and the Minister of Education, Fernando de los Rios, funded the theatre project of which Lorca was artistic director (the project was called La Barraca)
also Bride's aunt. Helps Leonardo's wife take care of their son, shares Mother's conservative view's of women.
This left-wing government was re-elected in 1936 after a brief return to a right-wing one in between. However, in 1936, a leader of Spain's traditionalist factions staged an overthrow of the government. The leader, Francisco Franco, was funded by fellow fascist leaders, Hitler and Mussolini. A three-year civil war followed, with Franco finally winning. Lorca was clearly left-wing, and declared his solidarity with workers and the republic. He was murdered to quell the spirit of those who contested the dictatorship.
owns a vineyeard, weathy and virtuous. The subject of his mother's overprotectiveness since he was her last surviving member of family (both his father and brother were murdered). He is good natured, cheerful, and excited about the prospect of marrying the bride.
the Bridegroom's mother is elderly and arthritic but is always seeking gossip and voicing her concerns about the wedding. She believes a woman's job is to be a wife and a mother, and blames the existence of knives for the death of her husband and other son - going into fits of hysterics when they're mentioned.
the Mother's best friend, accompanying her when she hears of the Bridegroom's death and giving her gossip.
the primary antagonist; rash, bitter and has a short attention span. He was in love with tthe Bride for most of his younger years, but she seems to have rejected his advances and encourages him to marry her cousin, which he does, but is not satisfied.
only slightly aware of Leonardo's infatuation with her cousin, the Bride. Naive, well-intended, down to earth.
rich man's daughter, engaged to Leonardo at 15. Doesn't truly love the Bridegroom, marries him because their families consider it a good match and she can't be with Leonardo. Want's to forget Leonardo and live honourably with her husband.
4-5. Bearers of news, represent Lorca's critique of women's rights in rural society.
Bride's father, works hard to grow alfafa even though the soil is bad. Widower of the Bride's mother, who as rumoured not to have properly loved him when she as alive.
chatty and generous, serves as a confidante, tries to cheer the Bride up about her reservations about the marriage.
possibly insane, she talks to the moon and hopes for violent, horrible deaths for Leonardo and the Bridegroom. She also predicts that they'll murder each other.
A wedding is iminent. Leonardo Felix, who is in love with the Bride, is unhappily married and longs for the Bride. He confesses his love to her, which she tries to stop, but she is also in love with him. Even so, she follows through with her wedding and Leonardo and his Wife attend. Soon after, it's discovered that the Bride has ran away with Leonardo. The Mother orders a search party for them. Leonardo and the Bride have fled to a forest, where the Moon (personified) states that she wants to see blood shed as revenge for she and Death (personified as a beggar woman) being shut out of their homes. With death, she agrees to have the Groom and Leonardo kill eachother, and they manipulate the two characters into meeting each other, who kill each other. When the Bride returns to town, covered in the blood of the two men, she is either sacrificed to restore everyone's honour or forced to live without either men as punishment - depending on the version of the play.
Costumes and Style
There have been many variations of costumes for Blood Wedding over the years for different adaptations of the play. For example, one designer wanted to be 'sensual' and designed the costume as a mix between flamenco and peasant wear. Others have used simple old fashioned folk wear, the only non-earthly colour used being red.
Lorca's stage directions suggest that the style is simplistic, dark and highly symbolic. The play is 'modernist' as it departs from realism and focuses on attempting to return the experience of theatre into a feast for the senses and emotions through the stark settings, chanting and the music and song.