The Arcadia, Proses and verses by Lope de Vega Carpio

Arcadia prosas y versos Lope de Vega Portada interna

Printed in 1598 in Madrid, this work of Lope de Vega had throughout the sixteenth century some twenty editions. It represents a fundamental moment of artistic and literary syncretism to understand the development of the Letters during the seventeenth century, both in Spain as in the American viceroyalties. It is a mistake to consider La Arcadia as the end of the European pastoral literature that begun with the work of Jacopo Sannazaro: Lope’s work presented to the readers of the seventeenth century a new literary model where narration started to began to combine with lyrics (during Lope’s life the work had at least sixteen reprints). A.M. Porteiro maintains that:

When Lope writes La Arcadia, the pastoral genre is fully configured in poetry, without any doubt, and its features have been absorbed by other poetic, prose and theatrical genres.” (P.6)

Nevertheless, the worlds that the author integrates in his prose (exercise that the author will create in the  novels published later in the course of the seventeenth century) go beyond the formal confines and have to do with the topics attached to the both genres:

Las huellas de la influencia de la comedia italiana que Lope reelaboró se perciben en el diseño del enredo, en la introducción de personajes específicos como el de los amigos fieles y útiles, a imitación de los plautino-italianos, las estrategias de engaño, los conjuros, las locuras de amor de raigambre ariostesca, los intercambios de misivas y prendas amorosas como fuente de confusiones y malentendidos, el recurso del disfraz bien al servicio de la comicidad, bien de la necesidad de ocultar la verdadera identidad a favor del desarrollo de la intriga. Abundan también motivos cortesanos como las ceremonias nupciales, las referencias mitológicas y los juegos de salón.” (A.M. Porteiro, pp. 48-49)

For her part, Dr. Martina Vinatea has indicated the existence in this work of the Epistola de Amarilis a Belardo  (Epistle from Amarilis to Belardo) in various places in the text: either because the name of the addressee has been taken from the Lope’s fiction, or because in its various quotations the author’s pastoral universe is mentioned.

Porteiro Chouciño, A.M., Estudio y edición de La Arcadia (1615) de Lope de Vega [Tesis doctoral], Coruña: Universidade da Coruña, 2014.

Vinatea, Martina, Epístola de Amarilis a Belardo, Madrid, Biblioteca Indiana, 2009.

Comments

Comments are closed.