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El juramento ante Dios, y lealtad contra el amor

A Modern and Critical Edition- Edited by Jaime Cruz-Ortiz


Jaime Cruz-Ortiz

Lusitanian playwrights who wrote comedias during and after the Dual Monarchy (1580–1640), when the Portuguese and Spanish thrones were united under Habsburg rule, continue to be largely unexplored. This edition highlights the contributions of one of this group’s most successful and celebrated members, Jacinto Cordeiro. It describes the sparse critical attention that Cordeiro has received as well as his life, literary career, and historical context. Most importantly, it provides a modern critical edition of Cordeiro’s most enduring play, El juramento ante Dios, y lealtad contra el amor, based on a collation of the twenty-one extant witnesses that comprise its textual tradition. Additionally, it includes an in-depth account of the transmission of the play with a stemma that documents the genealogical relationships between extant versions. It also provides an analysis of how Juramento may have been performed for seventeenth-century theatergoers, based on stage directions and performance cues written into the dialogue. In short, this edition introduces modern readers to both Jacinto Cordeiro, a bilingual author who successfully competed in a second language with the giants of Spain’s Golden Age, and El juramento ante Dios, a play whose popularity lasted two centuries.
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Notes on the Staging of Jacinto Cordeiro’s El juramento ante Dios, y lealtad contra el amor


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of Jacinto Cordeiro’s El juramento ante Dios, y lealtad contra el amor76

There are no historical accounts of an actual performance of Cordeiro’s El juramento ante Dios, y lealtad contra el amor, but evidence does show that its popularity lasted several centuries. Although it was written sometime in the 1620s,77 the proliferation of editions a hundred years later tells us that Juramento reached the height of its popularity in the mid-eighteenth century. Extant sueltas bear witness to performances in Barcelona, Madrid, Salamanca, Seville, and Valencia. These date from 1652 to 1822. Still, it appears that all but three were published in the eighteenth century. Additionally, Andioc and Coulon’s Cartelera teatral madrileña del siglo XVIII (1708-1808) records a performance on May 25th, 1746, in Madrid’s Teatro del Príncipe. The suelta sold after this performance, published by Antonio Sanz, also survives.78

Although we know a lot about when and where Cordeiro’s most successful play was staged, we know very little about how. Juramento has not been performed in some 200 years. Consequently, critics do not have the benefit of modern stagings as a point of reference. A contemporary production would demonstrate one approach to staging, blocking, costumes, acting, and ← 39 | 40 → props while suggesting the possibility of others. In the absence of both historical records of performances and modern productions, we have to look to the text itself for clues about past and potential performances.

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