AT: Bitter Oleander A: Federico García Lorca Pf: 1933, Madrid Pb: 1933 Tr: 1939 G: Trag. in 3 acts; Spanish prose and verse S: Farmhouse in Andalusia, Spain, early 20th c. C: 8m, 11f, extrasA Mother, who has lost her husband and son in a bitter blood feud with the Félix family, is alarmed when she discovers that her other son is to marry a young woman who was once engaged to Leonardo Félix. Leonardo and the woman could not marry, because Leonardo was too poor; so he married his beloved's cousin. Mother and Groom visit the barren farm of the Bride's father and strike a deal over the marriage. Despite generous presents, the Bride is unhappy at the prospect of marriage to the Groom, and the hoofs of Leonardo's horse are heard outside. Some time later, it is the morning of the wedding. While the villagers sing gay songs, Leonardo visits the Bride and declares his undying love for her. Nevertheless, the wedding goes ahead, but the Bride becomes colder and colder towards the Groom and leaves the feast to rest. Hoofs are heard again: Leonardo has abducted the Bride and ridden off into the night with her. The Moon gives light to the lovers, and Death in the form of a Beggar-woman helps the Groom find them. The lovers embrace and go deeper into the woods. Screams are heard: Leonardo and the Groom have killed each other. Three women are left to mourn: the Mother, the Bride, and Leonardo's wife. The Mother demands that the Bride should die, but the Bride insists that she remained untouched. The three widows now look forward to a life of mourning.
AT: Bitter Oleander A: Federico García Lorca Pf: 1933, Madrid Pb: 1933 Tr: 1939 G: Trag. in 3 acts; Spanish prose and verse S: Farmhouse in Andalusia, Spain, early 20th c. C: 8m, 11f, extras
García Lorca is accounted the major Spanish playwright of the 20th century, and Blood Wedding is his best-known play. Based on a true incident, Lorca's play could have become a trite sociological piece showing how peasants' cynical financial bargaining over marriage, by failing to regard powerful sexual impulses, could destroy lives. Openly acknowledging the influence of Synge's Riders to the Sea, Lorca goes beyond realistic debate to create a surreal poetic world, in which hoof-beats suggest Leonardo's passion, and the Moon and Death become active participants in the tragedy.