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The Re-Creation of History in the Fernando and Isabel Plays of Lope de Vega

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Delys Ostlund

This study examines a long-recognized characteristic of Spanish Golden Age historical drama, that dramatists of the period interpreted factual history according to their own literary purposes. The study is based on five of Lope de Vega's plays that dramatize key moments in the reign of the Catholic Monarchs. The author points out basic patterns which guided Lope's restructuring of history, at the same time highlighting the differences in the approach to historical material in each work. Finally, the author examines Lope's portrayal of Isabel and Fernando and the implications of such a portrayal.