From the Golden Age of Spanish drama, Fuenteovejuna documents the motivations behind the murder of Fernando Gomez de Guzman, the Chief Commander of the Order of the Calatrava. Basing the play on an actual historical event, Lope de Vega dramatizes the corruption of the Calatrava’s leaders and the effects of the Commander’s tyranny on the pastoral village of Fuenteovejuna (literally, “Sheepwell”). The Commander, while glorious in battle, lacks moral character and routinely kidnaps and ravishes young women in the town. When he sets his sights on the lovely Laurencia, the mayor’s daughter and new bride of Frondoso, the town is shocked, but stands aside. When Laurenica returns, bloodied and beaten, she finally spurs the town into action against him, resulting in his murder. Even Spanish royalty become involved in the questioning of the town - and under torture, all they can learn about the Commander’s murder is: “Fuenteovejuna did it.” Often adapted to fit modern times, Fuenteovejuna is a timeless tale about people standing together against corruption, tyranny, and abuse.
Fuenteovejuna guide sections