El castigo sin venganza

Lope de Vega Carpio

By Jonathan Thacker

Edited by Jonathan Thacker

El castigo sin venganza

Book Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-8230-6
  • Pages: 232
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £14.99
  • Published Date: November 2015
  • BIC Category: Literature & literary studies / Literary studies: fiction, novelists & prose writers, Literature & literary studies / Literary studies: c 1500 to c 1800, Spain, Literary studies: plays & playwrights, Literary studies: general, Literary studies: fiction, novelists & prose writers, Portugal, Plays, playscripts, Literature: history & criticism, LITERARY CRITICISM / Drama, LITERARY CRITICISM / European / Spanish & Portuguese, Early Modern Literature, Literature & literary studies / Plays, playscripts, Literature
  • Series: Hispanic Texts


El castigo sin venganza (1631) is Lope de Vega's greatest tragedy. The play dramatises the story of the adulterous relationship between the beautiful Casandra, Duchess of Ferrara, and her step-son, Federico, and the reaction of her husband, the Duke, himself a flawed and ambiguous figure. The dramatist, at the height of his powers, re-works an earlier Italian short story to explore the complexities of human desire and the grim consequences of giving in to temptation.

Aimed principally at undergraduates who are new to Spanish Golden Age drama, this edition includes a substantial commentary on the text, explanatory footnotes and a selected vocabulary. The introduction sets the play in its contexts - historical and dramatic - and focuses too on elements of the genre with which new readers might be unfamiliar: performance norms, the poetry of the play and the linguistic differences in Golden Age Spanish.

It is informed by up-to-date scholarship on the play from Spain and the Anglophone world.


'Likely to become a set text on Spanish courses in the UK, US and anywhere else that Golden Age drama features.'
Alexander Samson, University College London

'Jonathan Thacker is to be highly commended for producing a thoroughly accessible edition of and companion to what is undoubtedly Lope's greatest tragedy, and clearly one of the great plays of the early modern period that is finally, if belatedly, getting the recognition it deserves both on the page and on the stage.'
Susan L. Fischer, Bucknell University, BSS, XCV (2018)


1. Introduction
Lope de Vega
The text of the play
The context of the play
The sources of the play
Interpretations of and critical responses to the play
The play in performance
The play's poetry
Notes on the play-text and on Golden Age Spanish
2. Bibliography
3. El castigo sin venganza
Acto primero
Acto segundo
Acto tercero
4. Commentary
5. Selected vocabulary

Editor and Author

Jonathan Thacker is Professor of Golden Age Spanish Literature at the University of Oxford and Tutor in Spanish at Merton College

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