A Golden Age Crisis

Getting more specific with the types of tension during Spanish Golden Age play openings, how many types of tension can you come up with?

First, a play writer of this age, Lope De Vega, and John T. Cull’s literature. Cull surmises that in the majority of plays by Lope, unlike with other experimental Spanish Golden Age plays, auditory effects, in the majority of plays by Lope, is not what gets the action rolling.  Instead, it is tension amongst individuals.  Cull studied the one hundred and ninety eight plays by Lope and interestingly, in only eighteen of these, there appears a single individual that emerges onstage to open the play.  Therefore Cull speculates that a single character is the least dramatic, and the most difficult with which to create dramatic tension, in regards to theatrical dynamics.

Now specific to Lope’s types of tension Cull notes, “The forms that play beginnings of displacement take are many.  They include warfare, the hunt, accidents and violence, mistaken or assumed identities, characters who are literally displaced from their homes due to travel, those who challenge or ridicule the power of love, those who would alter the prevailing social order or hierarchy in any fashion, crises of conscience or family conflicts.”  This covers a lot of ground, no?

How many types of tension did you come up with?

Sheila Cull
Twin Cull ©