Writers: Lope de Vega

Dramatis Personae

ESTEBAN, Mayor of Fuente Ovejuna

ALONSO, an Alderman of Fuente Ovejuna

JUAN ROJO, a councillor of Fuente Ovejuna

FRONDOSO, a young peasant boy, son of Juan Rojo

MENGO, a shepherd

BARRILDO, a peasant boy friend of Frondoso

LEONELO, a student from Salamanca University




JUDGE, an official of the court of Ferdinand

DON MANRIQUE, Grand Master of the Order of Santiago

DON RODRIGO TÉLLEZ GIRÓN, Grand Master of the Order of Calatrava

(MASTER) DON FERNÁN GÓMEZ DE GUZMÁN, Chief Commander of the Order of Calatrava


ORTUÑO, his Sergeant

CIMBRANOS, one of his troops


Scene 1

Almagro. Spring, 1476. The residence of the GRAND MASTER, the Order of Calatrava.

COMMANDER. Are you sure the Master knows I'm In Almagro?

FLORES. Sir, he knows!

ORTUÑO. Old enough now to keep you waiting.

COMMANDER. Does he know the man who's waiting Is Fernán Gómez de Guzmán?

LAURENCIA, a young peasant girl, daughter of Esteban PASCUALA, a young peasant girl, friend of Laurencia JACINTA, a young peasant girl, friend of Laurencia and Pascuala QUEEN ISABELLA OF CASTILE

FLORES. He's nineteen, sir, don't be surprised.

COMMANDER He may have forgotten my name But I'm still his Chief Commander And that title demands respect.

ORTUÑO. He's surrounded by advisors Saying, 'Go on, keep him waiting.'

SOLDIERS MUSICIANS CITIZENS of Fuente Ovejuna COURTIERS . COMMANDER. He'll win few friends playing that game. When you treat a man with respect You build a bridge into his heart When you treat a man with contempt You make an enemy for life.

ORTUÑO. If the discourteous man knew How all his colleagues despise him And dream of a thousand ways of Making him grovel in the dirt Wouldn't he rather end his days Than go on living such a life?

FLORES. A man like that's a total bore! A vile, tedious waste of time! When you treat an equal badly You show the world you're a fool You treat those beneath you badly You show the heart of a tyrant. But in this case there's no offence Just a boy who has yet to learn The importance of courtesy.

COMMANDER. The day they pinned the sacred cross Of our crusade on his young breast He swore an oath compelling him To treat all men with courtesy.

FLORES. Well, if he's been briefed against you Now's your chance to change his thinking.

ORTUÑO. Look sharp, I can see him coming.

COMMANDER Time to find out what he's made of. Enter the GRAND MASTER, accompanied. MASTER. Don Fernán Gómez de Guzmán I humbly beg your forgiveness I have only just been informed Of your presence in Almagro.

COMMANDER. I have good reason to feel wronged. I had hoped my loyalty and my Years of service would teach you To treat me with respect: as you're The Grand Master of Calatrava And I, your High Commander, Am your servant and your slave.

MASTER I was not informed of your arrival, Accept my apology, once more: Accept my embrace.

COMMANDER You honour me As you should, how often have I Risked my life on your behalf In these dangerous times? And who intervened with His Holiness When the question of your youth Put your succession in doubt?

MASTER. You did and I swear, by the cross Which graces both our breasts, I am Grateful for your loyal service I honour you as a father.

COMMANDER My humble thanks, I am content.

MASTER. Now, what news of the war?

COMMANDER. Let me Show you where the path of duty lies.

MASTER. Speak, I am ready to listen.

COMMANDER. Don Rodrigo Téllez Girón, Grand Master of Calatrava: I remember the day your father Gave up that title and proposed That you should succeed him. I remember an eightyearold boy Swearing a vow of allegiance, His election confirmed on oath By a host of High Commanders, Si anointed Kings, and Pius

The Holy Father of Rome. I remember a boy of siteen Weeping as he buried his uncle, His loyal regent, Juan Pacheco, Grand Master of Santiago.

I watched that boy take up The heavy burden of power And today I address the youth Who must make a man's decision. Since the death of King Enrique One question has echoed through our land: 'Who should sit on the throne of Castile? Ferdinand, Great King of Aragon, Makes his claim through his marriage

To Isabel, Enrique's sister. But your family support Alfonso, King of Portugal, and his claim Through his wife Princess Juanna, Enrique's only natural child; Blood and honour demand that you Support your cousin Alfonso's cause, And to that end I have come here To urge you, Master, to assemble All the Knights of Calatrava And take Ciudad Real: a place of Vital strategic significance Forming as it does a gateway Between Andalusia and Castile! Minimal force will be required, The city is defended by a handful Of civilians and a collection Of minor nobility: Master, It's time to silence those who claim That the crimson cross you wear Is too heavy for your young shoulders. Remember the counts of Uruena,

From whom you draw most noble blood, How many troops can you supply To support me in this conflict?

COMMANDER. Very few. I've an elite group of men Who will fight for you like lions. I live in Fuente Ovejuna, A little town in the mountains, The peasant inhabitants of which Are happy digging muddy fields, But are hardly qualified To march with you to battle.

MASTER. And you live in that place?

COMMANDER. In these Turbulent times, it's a safe place In which to build a stronghold.

MASTER Let your men prepare for battle.

COMMANDER. Not one of them will shirk your call. And let their triumphs drive you on To heights of even greater glory! Remember the Lords of Villena And all the brave generals of that line, Whose many victories are almost Too numerous to be carried aloft, Even on the wings of Fame herself! It's time for you to go to war And dip your, as yet, untried sword In the blood of your enemies! Let its blade match the cross on your breast For how can I truly call you Master of the Holy Cross when One is crimson and the other white? It's time, Rodrigo, for you to write Your own burning page in the proud history of your illustrious kinsmen!

MASTER Commander, you may be sure I know where my duty lies: I will support my cousin's claim, For I can see his cause is just. I will lay siege to Ciudad Real, And you will see me breach its walls Like a bolt of fire from Heaven! I'll silence those who dare to say That I buried my courage The day I buried my uncle. I will unsheathe my sword and its White blade will shine as red as this Proud cross on my breast when it drips With the blood of our enemies! . MASTER. I'll mount my horse and lift my lance: We march on Ciudad Real, today! Exit all.


Beside the well, on the outskirts of Fuente Ovejuna. Enter LAURENCIA and PASCUALA.

LAURENCIA. Well, I hope he never comes back! PASCUALA. Well, I'm surprised, I imagined When I told you he'd gone off to fight, You'd be disappointed, distressed. LAURENCIA I wish Fuente Ovejuna Had never seen that man's face. PASCUALA. Laurencia, I've known girls as Fierce as you, indeed some fiercer, Who tried to resist his advances, But whose hearts melted like butter, LAURENCIA. Pascuala, do you know other girls Whose hearts are as hard as oak? PASCUALA. Oh, please, which of us can say, 'Not me,' You never know what might happen! LAURENCIA. It will never happen to me! No matter what anyone thinks.

LAURENCIA. So, there is nothing to discuss! This town is full of women who Believed his promises and woke To find their reputations ruined And their pillows wet with tears. PASCUALA. My friend, you'll need a miracle To escape that monster's claws. LAURENCIA, It's not so hard: he's been chasing Me for a month now and when I see him coming I turn away Or cast my eyes into the dirt. His pimp, Captain Flores, and the Sly old fo, Sergeant Ortuño, Tried to tempt me with epensive gifts, A necklace, a pair of shoes, a dress; They pushed me against a tree and Whispered such tales of their master, That I confess, I was afraid. But all this attention won't change My resolution, I don't want him! PASCUALA. Where did they catch up with you? LAURENCIA. By the river. Si days ago. PASCUALA. They'll persuade you in the end. LAURENCIA. Me? PASCUALA. Well, I didn't mean the parish priest! LAURENCIA. This is one war Guzmán won't win. I prefer to talk of more important Things, like breakfast, a sweet slice Of bacon roasted on the fire Slipped inside a fistful of bread Torn from a loaf I baked myself Washed down with a cup of cold wine Stolen from my mother's old jar. At lunchtime, I like to watch Hunks of rabbit changing dancing Partners in the bubbling gravy, And when I stumble home at night Ehausted and a little peckish I like to arrange the marriage Of a finely chopped aubergine And an eligible slice of ham: Then as I'm preparing supper I like to pluck a handful of grapes Please God protect the vine from hail And graze on them before we dine, On a mountain of suckling pig

With red peppers soaked in olive oil: And when I finally climb the stairs I like to get down on my knees And speak to my maker, 'Dear Lord, Lead me not into temptation.' You see, I prefer all this, my life, To the lies and flattery spoken With such persistence by those thugs. And what's all this pursuit about, What do men actually want from us? To lay us naked on a sheet And when they're done to run away With eactly the same haste With which they tried to seduce us.

PASCUALA. Laurencia, it's true! When men Fall out of love with us they behave Like the ungrateful house sparrows Towards the farmer's wife in the spring: In winter when the fields are white, The cold little creatures fly down From the rooftops, hungry for food, So ravenous they'll eat the crumbs Directly from her big old hands But when the winter packs its bags And the fields don their suits of green The birds forget their winter friend. She no longer hears them singing 'Give me, give me, give me food.'No! When they can find things to eat elsewhere, From the roof she hears them taunting: Silly, silly, silly, old fool.' And men are the same: when they want us They stare into our eyes and say: You're the one, my love, my life: You, My divine, radiant goddess! But when the fires of passion cool We no longer hear them singing, ‘Baby, baby, cheep, cheep, please.' No! Then it's: 'Easy, easy! Cheap! Please.' LAURENCIA. Men! Don't believe a thing they say. PASCUALA. No. I don't. Not a single word!


FRONDOSO. Barrildo, it's a discussion. Please, keep a sense of proportion.

BARRILDO. Look, I see someone who'll help us, Let's ask them to make a judgement.

MENGO. Before you go and speak to them Can we negotiate a deal? So when they decide in my favour You both give me some money, My reward for being right.

BARRILDO. Sure, Mengo, we'd be delighted: But if you lose, what do we get?

MENGO. Equal shares in my bo fiddle: It's worth more than a barn full of grain, Yeah, well, it's worth that much to me!

BARRILDO. Fine. Deal.

FRONDOSO. I'll talk to the judges. Cordial greetings, fair ladies.

LAURENCIA. Ladies, Frondoso, why call us ladies?

FRONDOSO. I'm following the city fashion. In the city everything's upside down: Important people are never rude, They're just overworked or busy, Their arrogance is confidence, Their cynicism is gritty, Their bald heads are distinguished and Their big feet are firm foundations. They tell lies and it's pragmatic, And when they're vain, it's rather charming. A duke who's drinking himself to death Is awfully good company, A lord who abuses women Is something of a ladies' man, A marquis who gets the po Is said to have a minor rash, And a count who catches the plague Has acquired a summer cold. So, when I called you ladies mart I was talking in this fashion, Of which, I think we've had enough. Though I could go on for ever.

LAURENCIA. That's how they talk in the city When it suits them to be polite, But they use another language When they don't have to hide what they mean.

FRONDOSO. Are we going to hear a sample?

LAURENCIA It's not flattery: In the city A serious man is a bore, An outspoken man is a fool, A kindly man is a weakling, A generous man wants something, A humble man is a pushover, And a good, honest soul is a peasant. Be loyal and you are stubborn, Be concerned and you're nosy, Be patient and you're a coward, Be polite, you're up to something. If you're talented, you just got lucky, If you're unlucky, you had it coming. A women who says 'No' is frigid, With an opinion, she's a shrew, She wants to look good, she's a tart, She wants to live an honest life: You know, I think I've said enough. MENGO, The devil's in you, young lady!

BARRILDO. That was an amazing outburst.

MENGO. She's a tongue like a butcher's knife.

LAURENCIA, Weren't you arguing about something? Didn't you want us to sort it out?

FRONDOSO. Yes, that's right, we do.

LAURENCIA. So, speak!

FRONDOSO. Laurencia, listen closely.

LAURENCIA I'm listening, with both ears.

FRONDOSO. We're counting on your common sense.

LAURENCIA. Good, who was arguing with whom?

FRONDOSO. Barrildo and me against Mengo.

LAURENCIA. And what is Mengo's problem?

BARRILDO. He denies something that cannot Be denied, but still he denies it.

MENGO. I deny it, because I know I'm right.

LAURENCIA. What does he deny?

BARRILDO. That love eists. A force inside each one of us, Which reveals what we truly are: My hand will deflect any blow Aimed at my sweet, handsome face. My feet will run me out of harm's way, My eyelid will snap shut at the First hint of danger to my eye. This is a selfish, human love, Which is something I don't deny.

PASCUALA So, what are you trying to prove?

MENGO. That love between people is selfish. That people look out for themselves.

PASCUALA. I don't agree, what of the love Which binds a man and woman? Are you telling us that all that Is nothing but selfishness?

MENGO. It is selfish love, not selfless. What is this love you describe?

LAURENCIA. A desire for beauty.

MENGO. I see. And why does love desire beauty? LAURENCIA. Well, that's an etreme position.

BARRILDO Yes, etremely stupid. Listen: Love is the basis of everything, The world wouldn't work without it. MENGO. I'm not a skilled philosopher, In fact, I can't actually read, But if the stuff we are made of Blood, phlegm, choler, melancholy Are elements always at war, Doesn't that tell you something? BARRILDO. The world above us and the world Here below are bound together In the purest love, in concord, Which is the harmony of love.

MENGO. At this point I'd like to make clear I don't deny the eistence Of divine love, Barrildo. However, there is something else, LAURENCLA. To enjoy it. MENGO. To enjoy it. So, love seeks beauty because it Takes pleasure from that beauty? LAURENCIA. Yes.


. MENGO. So love pursues its own selfinterest Seeking out what will give it pleasure?

LAURENCIA Yes, it does.

MENGO. So, there we have it! The love of human beings is selfish, Selfabsorbed and selfregarding: We hunt beauty for our own ends.

BARRILDO. Last Sunday in his sermon Father Pedro quoted Plato: The lover should devote himself To the virtue and soul of the Beloved: that made sense to me.

PASCUALA. I think we're out of our depth here! This conversation would have all The smartest professors in Spain Scratching their heads for an answer.

LAURENCIA. Pascuala's right, so stop wasting time Wrestling with Mengo's nonsense. And Mengo, you'd better thank God That He didn't make you for love.

MENGO. Are you in love?

LAURENCIA. With my honour.

FRONDOSO. May your heart ache with jealousy.

BARRILDO. So, who wins?

PASCUALA. Best talk to the priest, Or the seton, he'll sort this out: Laurencia just told you she's not In love, and I know nothing of it, So how can we make a judgement?

FRONDOSO. Her contempt is my judgement. Enter FLORES.

FLORES. May God protect you, good people.

LAURENCIA. Where have you flown in from, Captain?

FLORES. Doesn't my armour give a clue?

LAURENCIA. Is the Commander coming home?

FLORES. The battle cost a lot of blood And the lives of some dear comrades: But we're home now, the fighting's done.

FRONDOSO. Captain, tell us what happened?

FLORES. These eyes were witness to it all, So, who can report it better? To storm the city of Ciudad Real Our bold young Master summoned Seven thousand proud menatarms From among his loyal subjects, And si hundred knights on horseback From among his holy brothers: For the Order of Calatrava Demands military service Of all who wear its crimson cross And share its holy mission: To drive the Moors out of our land! Our handsome leader rode out In a surcoat of emerald green, Decorated with embroidered monograms And at the elbow bracelets hung, Linked with frogs wrought in gold. He sat astride a mighty stallion, Highspirited and dapplegrey, Who'd grown up drinking the clear water Of the Guadalquivir, and eating The lush green grass that grows upon Its fertile banks: White silk ribbons Plaited his frosty mane and strips Of doeskin knit his pallid tail, Which seemed to match the snowdrifts

Of his fetlocks and flanks: Beside him Rode your lord, Fernán Gómez, On a giant, honeycoloured steed With jetblack hooves and tail And a lower lip of white. Over a suit of Turkish chain mail Were buckled gleaming breastplates and An orange surcoat trimmed with pearls: Above all this his helmet was crowned With a spray of white plumes, which seemed The blossom to the orange of his coat. In his strong arms, which were tied with White rosettes, he carried a mighty lance, As large as the trunk of the giant ash, From which it had been hewn, the sight Of which makes Granada shake with fear. The city armed itself, swore its loyalty To Ferdinand and Isabella, Declared that they would give their lives To remain their subjects: they offered Brave and sustained resistance: But to no avail. The Master rode Into the city, victorious, And ordered the beheading of All noblemen who'd slandered his name, While prisoners of lesser rank Were gagged and then whipped through the streets, An eample to their fellow citizens. Rodrigo is Master now in Ciudad Real, He's gentle in peacetime When soft are his words. But when he is fighting Beware of his sword. From Ciudad Real He comes home a hero, With bloodspattered armour And bags full of plunder. Vida muchos años, Viva Fernán Gómez! . Loved and feared in equal measure, And those who talk of such things predict A golden future for a young man who can Conquer and punish with such force: They say many a blue crescent moon Will fall before the power of his Crimson cross: He gave so generously To all who'd fought beside him, not least His Commander and his Captain, It seemed he was giving from his own purse, Not sacking some fallen city. That song celebrates your lord's return. Go and cheer him home, for the love Of the common people, is the Fairest laurel to grace the victor's brow!

Exit all.

Scene 3

COMMANDER. My good people, I am duty bound to thank you For the love you have shown me with this welcome.

ALONSO We show only a part of what we truly feel. Commander, can you be surprised at such a welcome? It is what you deserve.

ESTEBAN. On behalf of our community And its councillors whom you honour with your presence We ask, indeed, we beg you, to accept the tributes Which burden the carts and crates that stand before you: We make this offering with some shame because, though These gifts are given from the heart, they are homemade. First, two baskets full of earthenware crockery. A flock of geese, who it seems would like to prolong The choral tribute, which was sung for your welcome. Over here a brace of salted pigs, mighty beasts, And a fine selection of offal and cured ham, The scent of which is as sweet to us as any glove

The town square in Fuente Ovejuna. Enter COMMANDER, SOLDIERS, ESTEBAN,

ALONSO, MUSICIANS and CITIZENS of Fuente Ovejuna. MUSICIANS (singing). So welcome home Our great Commander, From the conquering of lands And the killing of men. Vivan los Guzmánes! Vivan los Girónes!

COMMANDER. I'm sure that's true. I'm very pleased. Farewell.

ESTEBAN Singers, take a deep breath. Let's hear that stirring song once more.

MUSICIANS (singing). So welcome home Our great Commander From the conquering of lands And the killing of men, Vivan los Guzmánes, Vwan los Girónes, Viva muchos años, Viva Fernán Gómez!

Perfumed in amber: in these crates a hundred pairs Of capons and hens, the recruitment of which has Left the roosters of many villages and hamlets Hereabout helpless, heartbroken, and alone. They have no weapons to give you, no warhorses Draped in cloth of embroidered gold: they have only The love that lives in their hearts, which is gold, pure gold. Talking of purity, my lord, I give you my word That in these dozen wineskins is liquor so strong That should your soldiers drink it they will find themselves Happy to do guard duty completely naked On the coldest January night, they will need No swords, this firewater will so steel their souls. Of the cheeses, goat and sheep, and all the other Local specialties: scented honey, flan, Rabbit pie, blood sausage and cake, I'll say no more. These gifts are tokens of the love of your people: May you and your household enjoy them, every one.

COMMANDER Mayor, town councillors, my people: I'm very grateful. And farewell.

ALONSO My lord, you must be ehausted. Do go inside and take your rest. As you go, please note, we've covered The path to your door with fresh reeds And bulrushes; if the budget Had stretched to it you can be sure We would have emblazoned your gates With emeralds and pearls you deserve As much and more, so very much more.


COMMANDER Hold it. You two. I want a word.

LAURENCIA. What is your lordship's command?

COMMANDER Last week, I passed you in the street: I smiled, you looked the other way.

LAURENCIA. Pascuala, that was rude of you.

PASCUALA. Me? Rude to the Commander? No. COMMANDER. I was talking to you, proud one. Do you not belong to me? And your friend there, the milkmaid. Are you not my property?

PASCUALA. We are, but Perhaps not in the way you'd like.

COMMANDER. Come inside, there's nothing to fear. There are many men in my house.

LAURENCIA. If the Mayor had been invited, As he is my father, I'd be Happy to come inside.


PASCUALA. I did! We go inside. You lock the door.

FLORES. Calm down. He just wants to show you Some of the presents he's brought home.

COMMANDER (aside). Ortuño, if you get them inside, Lock the door.

ORTUÑO (aside). Of course I will.

LAURENCIA. Captain Flores, out of my way.

ORTUÑO. Think of yourself as a tribute, Like a peach, or a lump of cheese.

PASCUALA. Let me get past you or I'll bite. FLORES. Forget it! They're a pair of snakes.

LAURENCIA. Hasn't he had enough today? His house is full of meat,


COMMANDER How dare they disobey me?

FLORES. Get inside!

LAURENCIA. Get your hands off me!

ORTUÑO. But it's Your sweet morsel he'd like to chew!

LAURENCIA. I hope he eats until he bursts. . FLORES. Come in. Think about it!

Exit LAURENCIA and PASCUALA FLORES. We didn't quite fulfil our brief. I don't want to go back in there: When we turn up emptyhanded You know how he'll chew our heads off.

ORTUÑO. That's how life is for a servant. If you want to survive it, Captain, Keep your head down and keep smiling. Can't handle it? Do something else! Exit all. When we've resolved the conflict here, In Castile, we can move forward With all confidence and speed.

ISABELLA. Indeed, my lord, all our plans depend On securing peace in Castile.

MANRIQUE. Two aldermen from Ciudad Real Would like to speak with you. My lord, what shall I say to them?

FERDINAND We will not deny them our presence.

Scene 4

The Royal Court in Toledo. KING FERDINAND and QUEEN ISABELLA with DON MANRIQUE, Master of Santiago, and COURTIERS.

ISABELLA. We must take decisive action. King Alfonso has gathered A significant body of troops On our Portuguese border. If we strike now we will gain the Initiative, if we delay we Leave ourselves open to attack.

FERDINAND We can rely on solid support From Navarre and Aragon and

To the reputation of his order, Has laid siege to our city. Our troops offered brave resistance Fighting with such determination That the gutters of our streets Flowed with the blood of the fallen. Rodrigo prevailed: his victory Could not have been achieved without The leadership and advice of Don Fernán Gómez de Guzmán. Rodrigo now governs our city And we must be his subjects, Unless you can take measures To reverse this situation.

FERDINAND Where is Fernán Gómez now?

:: Men survived this attack; they were Imprisoned, or wounded, or killed.

ISABELLA We must act without delay, We cannot allow the momentum Of victory to inspire The young Master to deeds of Even greater audacity. My lord, The loss of Ciudad Real gives King Alfonso a gateway into The very heart of our territory.

FERDINAND. Don Manrique, you will take Two battalions of infantry And put down this rebellion With all speed and without mercy. The Count of Cabra, Don Diego De Córdoba, will ride with you, A soldier known to all the world For his fortitude and courage. This would seem to be the most Effective use of our resources.

MANRIQUE Your Majesty, this bold response Shows customary strength and vision. I'll curb this young man's arrogance Or I will die in the attempt.

ISABELLA. With our enterprise in your hands We are confident of success.

Exit all.

Scene 5

A wooded glade on the side of a mountain, outside Fuente Ovejuna. Enter LAURENCIA and FRONDOSO.

LAURENCIA. I left my washing by the stream, Only half wrung out, because I need To speak to you, here, in private; Frondoso, you have gone too far! The way you were looking at me Down there was enough to get every Tongue in the village whispering: He fancies her, she fancies him. Everything will be debated! And as you're not a badlooking boy With some kind of style and spirit, Who dresses perhaps a little Better than some of the others, There isn't a maid churning butter Or a boy out tending his goats Who hasn't assumed the right To discuss the date of our wedding! They behave as if the priest had Already called the banns, given us His bassoon solo, blessed the rings And asked us both to say 'I do'. Well, good luck to them I say, I hope that when harvest comes around Their barns will be full of wheat and Their vats will be full of new wine, and They don't regret wasting their time In idle speculation and gossip! But it means nothing to me, nothing. I'm not bothered. I don't give a damn!

FRONDOSO. Loving a woman as cruel and As beautiful as you isn't easy. I shake when I see you coming, I tremble when I hear your voice I have one hope, to marry you: Is this a reasonable response To my honest love and devotion?

LAURENCIA. It's the only response I've got!

FRONDOSO. Every minute I think of you, I close my eyes and I see you, I try to sleep and I dream of you. I can't eat, or drink, or find rest. And when those angelic eyes Look on me with indifference: Help, Heaven! I'm losing my mind!

LAURENCIA. Then get yourself to a doctor!

FRONDOSO. You are my doctor, my sickness And my cure: imagine us as A pair of doves, perched on a branch, Beak in feather, feather in beak, Singing together in bliss after The priest has made us man and wife.

LAURENCIA. Frondoso, speak to my uncle: I'm not in love but I might be Acquiring some of the symptoms.

FRONDOSO. Look over there! The Commander!

LAURENCIA. Out hunting deer in the forest. Go and hide behind those bushes.

FRONDOSO. How will I hide my jealous heart? Enter the COMMANDER, with crossbow.

COMMANDER. My lucky day! On the trail of A timid buck, I come across A most attractive young doe.

LAURENCIA Sir, I was doing my washing By the stream, I came here to rest. And now, with your permission, sir, I'll go back and finish my work.

COMMANDER. My beautiful Laurencia, This crude response is an insult To the grace with which Heaven has Blessed you, it distorts your features, Makes you seem like a monster. Until today you've avoided My loving entreaties, but here, These silent, sheltering trees Will tell no tales: why should you be The only girl in the village Too proud to return my smile? You know, young Sebastiana, The wife of Pedro Redondo, She returned my smile and more, much More, and your good friend Innes, She found her way to my bed two days After she'd sworn her vows in church.

LAURENCIA Sir, with respect, if those women Found the way to give you pleasure, It is perhaps because they'd walked That path so many times before And with so many other men. May Heaven bless your sport and please Leave me alone. Stop hunting me! If it weren't for the cross on your chest, Sir, I'd take you for the devil!

COMMANDER What an infuriating response. I'll put my crossbow on the ground, And let's see if these hands can't melt That proud, frigid heart.

LAURENCIA. What's this! My lord! Remember who you are!

COMMANDER Come! Don't resist me!

COMMANDER (aside). The man is a fool who leaves home Without buckling on his sword! Ironic: I didn't wear it Lest I'd frighten off my prey.

FRONDOSO. My lord, if I release this bolt: You'll fall like a stricken deer.

FRONDOSO (aside). If I raise This crossbow from the ground, I swear I will use it if I have to. COMMANDER Stop. Don't fight.

LAURENCIA Heaven, help me!

COMMANDER We're alone here, don't be afraid.

FRONDOSO. Noble lord! If you don't release That innocent girl, I swear my Rage will overcome my respect For that holy cross on your breast And this bolt will splinter your heart.

COMMANDER Peasant, dog!

FRONDOSO. Peasant, yes! Dog, no! Laurencia. Run.

LAURENCIA. Frondoso! Be careful. You must. Take care.


COMMANDER. Peasant lout, the girl has gone now, Put down my crossbow. Put it down! Do you hear me, boy?

FRONDOSO. No, my lord! A man in love is deaf to all insults. And I'd be a fool to put this down: You'd just pick it up and kill me.

COMMANDER Do you think a man of my rank Could turn his back and walk away, Retreat before a peasant child? Stand fast and shoot me though the heart. I won't break my oath of chivalry!

FRONDOSO. I don't ask that, I understand The obligation of your rank. But I've my own obligations: One of which is to stay alive, So, I'll take your crossbow and leave.



COMMANDER. I'll have revenge on that peasant For his insult and his intrusion! But why didn't I wrestle him To the ground and break his neck? What's this? What's this? I'm burning with shame.



Scene 1

The town square in Fuente Ovejuna. Enter ESTEBAN and ALONSO. . ESTEBAN It's obvious! The weather's not been good this year And doesn't look like improving any time soon, So we stop depleting our reserve stocks of grain Or we'll have nothing left when winter comes around: Why isn't this clear to all our council members.

ALONSO In my time on the committee, prudent planning Has always proved to be the best way to govern,

ESTEBAN Well, we'll have to take this up with the Commander. Can I tell you what makes me really angry? Astrologers: who, though they know less than nothing, Claim, in long and incoherent dissertations, To have access to secrets known only to God! They speak with the authority of archbishops About what has and what shall soon come to pass, but When you want an answer to a simple question You find that the best of them is worse than useless! Are their libraries full of moons and spinning planets? It would appear their skulls are full of fluffy clouds. How can they really know what's going on up there? And how dare they alarm us with their speculations And their ohsoprecise instructions, regarding Which crop to sow, how and when, wheat here, barley there, No to mustard, yes to cucumbers and pumpkins? There are pumpkins in my garden with bigger brains! They foretell the death of an important person And lo, a king drops dead in Transylvania. They say there will be lots of beer in Germany, It will almost definitely rain in England, You can be sure of bright sunshine in Morocco, But do beware of biting frost in Russia! Let me give you a prediction: if we plant now Or never, the year will still end in December.


BARRILDO. You've come home with a brain bulging with ideas.

LEONELO. I studied the subjects that seemed most important.

BARRILDO. So many books are published these days that every Village square is full of selfproclaimed professors.

LEONELO. Yes, but has printing epanded or shrunk the sea Of human knowledge? You know, I think the latter. Ideas were once condensed in handy summaries Today so much hot air is published, people get lost. Try to keep abreast of everything that's printed You get brain ache from information overload. Only fools would deny that amongst all the dross, Printing has made known the work of some great minds, Preserved their thoughts against the ravages of time, Spread their benevolent influence round the world: But some poor souls, whose work was thought important, Have had their reputations destroyed by publication: And some dishonest hacks have borrowed the name Of our best playwright to get their work into print: Whilst a few malicious souls have deliberately Written rubbish and sent it out into the world In the name of an enemy they seek to destroy! Printing is not only a force for good, my friend.

BARRILDO. My friend, I disagree .

LEONELO. Is it right that spiteful fools

LEONELO. It looks like someone beat us to our favourite spot. So, where are we going to sit and have a chat?

BARRILDO. How was university?

LEONELO. That's a long story.

BARRILDO. You'll soon be a lawyer and make lots of money! LEONELO. Let's see. I'll end up making less than the barber. What we were just discussing is common knowledge. Can damage the reputations of learned men?

BARRILDO, But surely printing represents some kind of progress?

LEONELO. Hundreds of years have passed happily without it! Has this age of books thrown up an Aristotle? Has a profusion of print produced a new Plato?

BARRILDO. I've clearly trodden on a corn with this, my friend. Perhaps we should talk about something else. A seat! Enter JUAN ROJO and PEASANT.

JUAN. Yes, people who know nothing about the subject May gossip and cry ‘Miser', but I can tell you: These days, you need to sell your farm and livestock Before you can give a girl a proper dowry! PEASANT. What news of the Commander? I'm sorry! What's wrong?

JUAN. Didn't you hear how he treated Laurencia? PEASANT The world never knew a more lecherous monster. I'd like to see him hang from an olive tree. Enter COMMANDER, FLORES and ORTUÑO. COMMANDER My good people, God be with you.

ALONSO Good, my lord!

COMMANDER. I'd like you all to sit down. ALONSO Will it please you, my lord, to sit In your accustomed place? We are Happy to stand, that's as it should be.

COMMANDER. I would like you all to sit down.

ESTEBAN And we would like to stand, my lord: A sign of honour and respect, Honour is given to good men: Those without it can't give it.

COMMANDER. Sit down! We have things to discuss.

ESTEBAN. My lord, have you seen the greyhound We sent to your home?

COMMANDER. No, Mayor, But my men were most impressed. They tell me he runs like the wind. ESTEBAN He is an outstanding creature. I swear that beast can run faster Than a criminal from the law, Or a coward from a battle.

COMMANDER. In this particular instance I'd like you to set this hound to Catch me a hare, one that is Constantly avoiding my grasp.

ESTEBAN. Where will I seek this creature, sir?

COMMANDER. . At home. I speak of your daughter.

ESTEBAN. My daughter?

COMMANDER Yes. ESTEBAN But, good my lord, Is it right to hunt my daughter?

COMMANDER. Mayor, give the girl some guidance.


COMMANDER. She seems determined to resist me. To think there's a man in this square Whose wife, at my very first glance, Beat a path to my door.

ESTEBAN Then she did wrong. And you do wrong, my lord, to speak Of such matters with such licence!

COMMANDER. An eloquent peasant! Flores, Go to my study and bring us Aristotle's The Politics. I think the Mayor should read it.

ESTEBAN. This town is happy to live under · Your honourable protection. Remember, there are people of Consequence in Fuente Ovejuna!

LEONELO (aside). How dare he treat us with such contempt?

COMMANDER You, Deputy Mayor of the dunghill, Did I say something to upset you?

ALONSO Your behavior is unreasonable, What you have said here is unjust. You should not insult our honour!

COMMANDER. Do farmers claim to have honour; Are you Knights of Calatrava?

ALONSO There may be those who wear the cross, Whose blood is less pure than ours.

COMMANDER Are you suggesting that your blood Would be sullied if mied with mine?

ESTEBAN We're leaving

COMMANDER. Yes! But not in gangs!

ALONSO Bad actions leave a stain, my lord.

COMMANDER. Someone had better tell your wives: They have no fear of mingling blood.

ALONSO Your words insult our women. Your actions are unforgivable!

COMMANDER. What a dreary bunch of peasants. Oh, thank God for the big cities Where a man of taste and style Can enjoy himself without censure. Where husbands are pleased, even proud, When a wife finds a guest for her bed.

ESTEBAN I don't believe that to be true. You're trying to put us off our guard. God's commandments still eist, Even in big cities, as does Jealousy and retribution!


ALONSO Sir, I would like to say: I agree with everything he said.

COMMANDER. You. Peasants. It's time to go home. All of you. Move! Clear the square. Now!

FLORES. Take it easy, sir, please, calm down!

COMMANDER They are walking off in huddles. To hatch their plots behind closed doors!

ORTUÑO You might show a bit of patience.

COMMANDER. I have shown too much already! You. Rustic scum! Leave the square. Now! Go back to your homes. One by one!

ESTEBAN I'm leaving. In this direction.

LEONELO (aside). Heaven, will you let this happen?


What do you think of these people? ORTUÑO. You don't do much to hide the fact You don't give a damn about them, Their feelings, or their complaints.

COMMANDER They seem to think they're my equals.

FLORES. I'm not sure that's the problem, sir.

COMMANDER. And that lout who stole my crossbow, Is he to remain unpunished?

FLORES. Last night, I saw a man I thought Was him, loitering right outside Laurencia's front door, he was Wearing the same kind of short cloak, So I put a smile across his neck: Slashed him from ear to ear: He fell, I turned him over and, my God, Turns out it wasn't him at all.

COMMANDER. Where is this Frondoso hiding?

They say that when I raise my sword The kingdom of Granada shakes, Yet this peasant boy dares to point My bow, directly at my heart. Flores, what's happening to this world?

FLORES. It's the power of love, sir. And you're still here, alive and well. I think that shows he respects you.

COMMANDER I've not yet shown what I feel. If I had, within an hour of that Incident, I'd have driven my sword Deep into the heart of this dull Peasant town: I'm waiting, and when The moment comes; I'll strike, 'til then I'm cooling my rage with reason. What news of Pascuala?

FLORES. She said: As she got engaged last week a date Might be hard to arrange right now.

COMMANDER Trying to fob me off on credit?

FLORES. Sending you to another till, Where you might get paid in cash.

COMMANDER. And Marcella?

FLORES. Rumour has it he's still hereabouts.

COMMANDER. The scum who tried to kill me dares To remain in my territory?

FLORES. Don't worry, sir, we'll catch him soon, Like an innocent bird in a snare Or a gullible fish on a hook.

ORTUÑO. She makes me laugh. What a woman!

COMMANDER And what a tongue! What's her ecuse?

ORTUÑO. She just got married And as her hubby found your love note On his pillow on their wedding night, And as you keep standing under Her balcony singing love songs: The little tyrant's getting jealous.

COMMANDER On my sacred oath of Knighthood: That little man misses nothing.

ORTUÑO. Misses nothing, loves his missus. When he calms down she'll let you in, As she's done so many times before.

COMMANDER And Innes? FLORES. Which Innes? COMMANDER. Anton's wife. Whenever you want to see her, We talked last night at her back door, Which is your way in she tells me.

COMMANDER. Easy women, don't you love them? Use them often, pay them nothing. Thank God the poor creatures don't know How valuable they are to us.

FLORES. There's nothing more disappointing Than a girl who yields without a fight. A quick surrender deprives us of The pleasure of anticipation. I know some women need a man Like a desert needs rain but, come on, I prefer some kind of challenge.

COMMANDER The man who is crazed with desire Is delighted to have his passion Quickly and easily fulfilled, Although he then despises The object of his affection: The most romantic lover soon forgets The women who cost him nothing! Enter CIMBRANOS, a soldier.

CIMBRANOS. Is Commander Gómez with you?

ORTUÑO. Why ask? He's sitting over there.

FLORES. She is happy to receive you

COMMANDER Tell them to prepare for battle.

CIMBRANOS. If you don't leave now, I'm afraid Ferdinand will retake the city.

COMMANDER He won't. That won't happen, soldier.

CIMBRANOS. Fernán Gómez, our fearless leader: Swap your soft cloak for shining armour And echange your green hunting cap For the whiteplumed helmet of war. In the name of Ferdinand and Isabel, The Grand Master of Santiago And the valiant count of Cabra Have laid siege to Ciudad Real. Don Rodrigo calls out to you for support. Come now, or what Calatrava won At the cost of so much toil and blood Will be retaken by our enemies. I stood on the high battlement at dawn And by the light of the beacons I saw The massed forces of Castile and Leon: As strong as castles and as brave as lions. And though the King of Portugal has heaped All kinds of honours on his young shoulders I believe Rodrigo will be lucky To return to Almagro with his life. My lord, you must mount your horse and ride out The merest glimpse of you will be enough To put new heart into our men and send Our enemies running home to Castile.

COMMANDER. Cimbranos. Enough. Get ready. Ortuño, call the bugler: Order him to summon the men. How many do I have?

ORTUÑO. Fiftythree, sir.

Scene 2

A wooded glade outside Fuente Odejuna. Enter MENGO, LAURENCIA and PASCUALA, running, with torches. PASCUALA. Mengo, you can't leave us alone!

MENGO Surely you're not frightened out here?

LAURENCIA Please, stay with us until we're home. We don't walk in town now unless We're in a group or with a man: We're afraid of meeting him alone. MENGO. He's the devil and he's ripping The heart out of our little world!

LAURENCIA. Day or night I never feel safe.

MENGO In my prayers I ask God to send A firebolt to kill that madman!

LAURENCIA. More a monster than a madman Crushing the soul out of our village.

MENGO. People say that in the forest here Frondoso picked up his crossbow And aimed a bolt straight at his heart So that you could escape unharmed.

LAURENCIA Before that, Mengo, I didn't Think much of men, but Frondoso Was prepared to give his life to Save mine, and since then, well, I have to say, I've changed my mind. But, if the Commander's men catch him They will kill him for his kindness.

MENGO. If you see him tell him to run A thousand miles away from here.

LAURENCIA. I do see him, and though it hurts, I give him eactly that advice Which makes him laugh in my face Then shout at me and curse me hard
Although he knows full well Guzmán Has sworn to hang him from a tree.

PASCUALA. I wish Guzmán a painful death!

MENGO. An oldstyle stoning would be best. Look, you see this simple sling? I use it to protect my sheep. Well, I swear before God above If I could get one good shot at him They'd hear his skull crack wide open All the way down to the coast, y'know That vicious Roman general Lucius Julius Brutilicus?

LAURENCIA. I'm sorry, Mengo, do you mean: Lucius Junius Brutus? The founder of Rome?

MENGO. Well, I'm not A trained historian, in fact I'm not sure what day of the week It is, but yeah, well, you know: Lucius, jumping jack, brutal boy, The Roman guy, he had nothing On Guzmán; come on, did nature Ever make a monster like him?

PASCUALA. No: he has the soul of a tigress!


JACINTA. In the name of Heaven, help me, Help me, please, help, my dear friends.

LAURENCIA. Jacinta, we'll help you, what's wrong?

PASCUALA. We are your friends; we're here to help.

JACINTA. Guzmán is leaving town tonight Marching to defend Ciudad Real. Two of his men knocked on my door Armed, not with honest courage But with brutal lust, and tried to Drag me away with him to war.

LAURENCIA. Jacinta, Heaven must help you, I can't. If he'll treat you like this Think what he's planning for me!


PASCUALA. Jacinta, friend, what use am I? You need a man to protect you.


MENGO. Oh no, it's all down to me then. A man, well, that's what they call me. Cousin, come on, I'll protect you.

JACINTA. Do you have a weapon?

MENGO. Of course! The first weapon! J

ACINTA. What do you mean?

MENGO. A stone, look, a stone and a sling.


FLORES. Trying to run away, pretty one?

JACINTA. Mengo, this is it!

MENGO. Gentlemen! Why do you hunt such humble game?

ORTUÑO. Are you man enough to defend This little damsel in distress?

MENGO. First, I'll protect her with a plea: My masters, please, don't harm this girl. She's my cousin, I must defend her.

FLORES. Kill him; we don't have time for this.

MENGO. By God, don't make me lose my temper. If I take this sling from my belt You'll be sorry you provoked me.


COMMANDER What is going on here? Do I Have to dismount to deal with this?

FLORES. The people of this ugly town, Which you should burn to the ground As they give you nothing but grief, Are once again defying your orders.

MENGO. Lord, if pity lives in your heart Or a sense of what's right and just, You will punish these two men who Have tried to abduct this woman From her husband and her parents. Let me escort this poor girl home. I beg you, give me permission,

COMMANDER. I'd rather give them permission To cut out your yapping tongue Drop that weapon, peasant.

MENGO. My lord!

COMMANDER. Flores, Ortuño, Cimbranos. Grab him and bind his hands with his sling.

MENGO. Is this how you defend her honour?

COMMANDER And who do the rustic rabble of Fuente Ovejuna think I am?

MENGO. Listen, sir, how have I, how has our Community offended you?

FLORES. Shall I kill him?

COMMANDER. Don't stain your blade. You are soon to honour it in Another more important place.

ORTUÑO. What shall we do with him?

COMMANDER Whip him. MENGO. Mercy! As you are a man of honour.

COMMANDER. Strip his dirty rags, bind his hands, Tie him to a tree and whip him Until the buckles of your belts Turn his backside black and blue. MENGO. Heaven, you see what they're doing? When will you punish these crimes?


COMMANDER My little one, why run away? Do you reject an aristocrat În favor of a boorish peasant?

JACINTA. Your men tried to take my honour, Is this how you punish their crime, By stealing it yourself?


JACINTA. Sir, be careful, I have a father Who, though not a man of your rank, Lives a good, simple, honest life, A man who would die defending His daughter's honour.

COMMANDER Do you think Boring me with this dreary blather Is the way to cool my desire? Come here, my girl.

JACINTA. Why would I?

COMMANDER. To be closer.

JACINTA. Think what you're doing.

COMMANDER. I've thought and you'll wish I hadn't.
I won't have you, ungrateful slut You'll be the battalion's whore!

JACINTA. While I can still take my own life No man has power over me.

COMMANDER Get moving, we're in a hurry.

JACINTA. Sir, show mercy.

COMMANDER. I have none.

JACINTA. Heaven watches all our actions. Soon you will suffer its judgement!

JACINTA is seized and dragged away. Exit all.

Scene 3

Outside the home of ESTEBAN. Enter FRONDOSO and LAURENCIA.

LAURENCIA. Frondoso: you are such a fool! Why come into town?

FRONDOSO. To help you Appreciate how much and how

Hopelessly you're in love with me! From the hills I saw Guzmán leave Which banished all my fears and Epecting the warmest welcome I ran down here to be with you. I hope that madman never returns From his battle!

LAURENCIA. Don't curse him! Remember what the old folk say: Those we most wish dead live longest.

FRONDOSO. If that's what they say, I wish him A thousand happy years and pray That my good wishes end his days. Laurencia, I've come here to know If your resistance has melted. The whole town sees us as one, The whole town is surprised that we Haven't yet walked up the aisle. Can you swallow your pride and say What it is to be, yes or no?

LAURENCIA I'll tell you, as I'll tell the town: Yes. I accept your proposal.

FRONDOSO. Let me kiss your beautiful feet For the gift you have given me. Laurencia, what can I say? You've given me my life again.

LAURENCIA. Let's not waste time with compliments. And before we go any further You have to talk to my father. I won't marry without his consent. Look, he's coming with my uncle: Frondoso, chin up, get his blessing And I will be your wife.

FRONDOSO. Please, God.

LAURENCIA conceals herself.


ESTEBAN. No one in that square tonight Could believe what was happening, His behaviour was irrational, Quite beyond the bounds of reason. The town is in a state of shock, Terrified of what he'll do net. And what about poor Jacinta: Do you think we'll see her again?

ALONSO One day all the people of Spain Will live under the jurisdiction Of Ferdinand and Isabella. They'll establish the rule of law. My heart goes out to her family; She was a good wife and daughter.

ESTEBAN. And Mengo whipped?

ALONSO As he tried To protect her: he was beaten Every shade of black and blue.

ESTEBAN. My friend, don't tell me any more. It makes me shake with rage to hear Of these terrible crimes while I Hold this ancient staff of office, Powerless to help my people.

ALONSO He's gone now, soon to be defeated.

ESTEBAN. There have been other outrages. Pedro Redondo spoke to me: A week ago at the far end Of the meadow, Guzmán ambushed His wife and after he'd abused her He handed her on to his men.

ALONSO Stand back. Who's there?

FRONDOSO. Only me. Waiting for permission to speak.

ESTEBAN Frondoso, outside my house You don't need permission to speak. Your dear father gave you life But you've been like a son to me. I've watched you grow from child to man, No one could love you more than I.

FRONDOSO. Knowing that love, I have come here, To ask for a special favour. Trusting in the love that you Have always shown to me, And sure of Laurencia's love, I've come to ask for her hand. I know, perhaps, I've spoken too soon. Because this is so important I think, my words got ahead of me. Perhaps someone else should have asked.

ESTEBAN My boy, your request is timely. You've given me another ten years Of life and cured an ache in my heart That I thought might never be eased. I thank you for this proposal. You bring honour to my house. I thank God for your honest love. But it wouldn't be right to proceed Without your father's consent, so Let us say I approve, pending Your father's acceptance. I will Be the luckiest man alive If we can make this marriage work.

ALONSO You'd better get the girl's consent Before you speak to his father.

ESTEBAN Laurencia must have agreed: He wouldn't ask unless she had. These days they arrange it all Themselves; fathers, the last to know. Son, I wonder if you're concerned About the dowry; if so, stop. I want to give you a good start.

FRONDOSO. I really don't need a dowry. Keep your money in your pocket.

ALONSO He will take her as God made her. You ought to thank your lucky stars. ESTEBAN Let's not assume Laurencia Will agree with this. Shall I ask?

FRONDOSO. Assumption is the mother of Many mistakes, sir. Please, ask her.

ESTEBAN. Laurencia! Daughter!


Would you step this way with me? It's time Frondoso was married. He's an honourable young man. What would you say if he was Married to your best friend, Blanca? LAURENCIA, What does Blanca say?

ESTEBAN. She's a good catch, A worthy match for him I think.

LAURENCIA. I agree. Let them be married.

ESTEBAN Yes, but don't be hasty daughter. Isn't she a little ugly? Shouldn't he be asking for you?

LAURENCIA. Please, stop playing these awful jokes.

ESTEBAN Do you love him?

LAURENCIA. He has feelings: I have feelings. It's what we want. ESTEBAN. You want me to give my blessing?

LAURENCIA. Yes, but only if you approve.

ESTEBAN. I call and she comes in a flash: I told you she was in on this. My daughter, dear Laurencia, I must have a word, in private. I am laughing through my eyes, It's so hard to believe you're mine. Exit all.

ESTEBAN Me, what have I to do with this? Gentlemen, we are both agreed. But we must talk to your father. Shall we go and knock on his door?

ALONSO Come along. It's late!

ESTEBAN. Frondoso. Son. The dowry. What would you say If I was to offer your father Four thousand maravedis?

FRONDOSO. With respect, don't ask the question. I won't take any money from you.

ESTEBAN. You say that now and you mean it But those feelings won't last for ever. One morning you'll wake up wondering: 'Why didn't I take the dowry?'


LAURENCIA. Frondoso, are you happy now?

FRONDOSO. I don't know why my heart hasn't Burst with pride and why my head Is still sitting on my shoulders: That's how happy you've made me. And these tears, are tears of joy Marwadi

Scene 4

Outside the walls of Ciudad Real. Enter COMMANDER, MASTER, FLORES, ORTUÑO, CIMBRANOS and SOLDIERS.

COMMANDER. Master! Retreat! Quickly! Run! Escape! Run! This way!

MASTER The wall of the city was weak! It just collapsed. King Ferdinand's forces were too strong for us.

COMMANDER They lost a lot of men. That battle cost them blood.

MASTER. But they can't boast they got their hands on our colours. They will never take the cross of Calatrava.

COMMANDER. Master, all your dreams of glory have been destroyed.

MASTER What could I have done? Fortune is a cruel goddess One day she lifts us, the net she casts us in the dirt.

SHOUTS (off). All hail the victors, Ferdinand and Isabella. All hail the victors, the monarchs of Castilc.

Viva Laurencia! Via Frondoso! Vivan muchos años, Los desposados. Vwan muchos años! Via Laurencia! Via Frondoso! A good life and a long life! She's gonna make a good wife! Vivan muchos años.

MASTER They're crowning each battlement with a flaming torch. Draping banners from the windows of every tower.

COMMANDER. The blood of their dead is dripping from those banners. This is a moment for grief not celebration.

MASTER Fernán Gómez, I will return to Almagro.

COMMANDER And I to Fuente Ovejuna. You will have to decide Whether to continue to support your kinsman Or transfer your allegiance to the Catholic Kings.

MASTER. I will write to you when I've made up my mind.

COMMANDER. Time will show you the true path.

MASTER. I'm sure it will! When we're green, what do we know? Nothing! I'll learn! Exit all.

Via Laurencia! Viva Frondoso! A good life and a long life! She's gonna make a good wife! Vivan muchos años! Vivan muchos años!

MENGO. You didn't lose a lot of sleep Making up the words to that one!

BARRILDO. I suppose you could do better?

FRONDOSO. Mengo has taken a good whipping But can he whip words into lyrics?

MENGO. There was a man in a meadow Who picked up a Commander's bow.

BARRILDO Don't name that murdering tyrant. That monster dishonours us all.

Scene 5

The town square in Fuente Ovejuna. Enter LAURENCIA, FRONDOSO and the CITIZENS of Fuente Ovejuna, in wedding attire. SONG: Viva Laurencia

MENGO. And think what his men did to me. One shepherd and his sling against A hundred mercenary killers. I was lucky, think of the poor guy Who was given an enema! I won't mention his name but he's known To all here as an honourable man, An enema of ink and gravel! How could anyone stand for that?

BARRILDO. Perhaps Gómez found it amusing.

MENGO. Enemas might keep you healthy But since when were they amusing?

ALONSO Time to listen to Barrildo's dedication.

BARRILDO. Let angels bless this man and wife, Their days be free of rows and strife, Their barns be full of golden wheat, A dozen children grace their feet. And on the day they pass away, I hope that they can truly say: *I'm glad I took this precious ring, I wouldn't change a single thing.'

ALL. Laurencia and Frondoso!

MENGO. Well, that put the dog in doggerel. BARRILDO. It was written rather quickly!

MENGO. Here's something I made up last night. This puts poets in their places.

SONG: The Poet in His Study . Have you seen a doughnut maker Working at his pastry dough? Chucking lumps in boiling oil 'Til his pan is full to go? Most come out all fat and soggy. And a few fry up just fine, Most are burnt and so misshapen, Cooking was a waste of time. It's like the poet in his study As he sits and has a go, Tugging at his sticky verses, Like the baker and his dough. The poet puts his verse on paper: And the paper is his plate, He dusts it all in rhyming sugar, To hide mistakes but much too late. It's like the poet in his study As he sits and has a go, Tugging at his sticky verses, Like the baker and his dough. Both men travel off to market, Selling poems and doughnuts, No surprise, when they sell nothing, And both of them get swollen guts.

Cos the poet eats his unsold verses, He's nothing left as market shuts, And as the baker's starving hungry, He must sup on stale doughnuts.

BARRILDO. Songwriters all over the world Are grinding their teeth into dust.

ALONSO Now it's time to bless the bride and groom.

LAURENCIA. Fatherinlaw, will you bless us?

JUAN ROJO. Laurencia, you ask my blessing? You should first ask for your father's, After all he's done for you both.

ESTEBAN. Friend, I hope Heaven blesses them And offers them a helping hand.

FRONDOSO. Fatherinlaw, Father, why don't You do the blessing together?

BLESSING (sung). Ave Maria, gratia plena Sancta Maria, Mater Dei Ora pro nobis peccatoribus Nunc et in hora mortis nostrae.

BARRILDO. Now the blessings are over, Laurencia and Frondoso, With your permission, we give you: The Tale of the Fair Young Maiden.' Musicians, ready? Actors begin!

A dumb show with music and song.

MUSICIANS (singing). Through the forest runs The maid with golden hair. Chased by a man on whose breast, A cross of crimson burns there. She seeks a hiding place, Ashamed and confused. Sheltering in a bush, Courage she must use. Oh, why do you run away? And, maid, where will you go? For I am a man in love, And I will never say no!' The knight, he comes so close, The maid, she's afraid to breathe, Shaking in her shelter, Of branches, thorns and leaves. 'Maid, you will never escape me, For I'll climb every hill And I'll cut down every tree, Hide wherever you will.' 'Oh, why do you run away? And, maid, where will you go? For I am a man in love, And I will never say no!'


COMMANDER. What's here? A wedding. In your seats! Calm down, there will be no trouble.

JUAN ROJO This is a sacred day, my lord! Perhaps you would care to join us? May I offer you a seat, a drink? Why come here dressed for battle? I assume you were victorious? Oh, perhaps I said something wrong?

FRONDOSO (aside). Help, Heaven! I'm as good as dead.

LAURENCIA (aside). Frondoso! Run! COMMANDER Stop him! Hold him! Bind his hands!

JUAN ROJO. Son, let them arrest you!

FRONDOSO. But Father, they will kill me!

JUAN ROJO. What crime have you committed?

COMMANDER. Only the most brutal tyrant Would condemn a man to death Without giving him a fair trial. And were I that kind of monster My men would have murdered this man A long time ago: Flores, Arrest him, take him to prison. His own father will be his judge When he stands trial for his crimes.

PASCUALA. My lord, this is his wedding day.

COMMANDER, That is no concern of the law. The village is full of young men, Let the bride choose another.

PASCUALA. Sir! If he's offended, forgive him, Show the world your compassion.

COMMANDER Pascuala, I'm not offended. His deeds have sullied the honour Of the Order of Calatrava. He's offended the Grand Master Rodrigo Girón, God protect him, And he must pay, justice must be Seen to be done. Not to deal with This crime might inspire other Insurgents to rebellion: He stole a crossbow and aimed it At the heart of a High Commander. Can such an insult be ignored?

ESTEBAN Sir, as the boy's fatherinlaw, May I offer up an ecuse? He's a young man and he's in love. In the circumstances, can we Be surprised at his behaviour? Sir, he saw you attempting to Deprive him of his young wife, Is it not natural for him To try and defend his sweetheart?

COMMANDER Mayor, you're not making sense.

ESTEBAN. I appeal to your better self.

COMMANDER. How could I deprive him of his wife? The boy's only just got married.

ESTEBAN. You know what happened! That's enough. There are monarchs in Castile Who'll establish the rule of law And wipe away this anarchy. When they have some respite from war They will do well to rid their towns And villages of men like you, Who terrorise the people and who Seem to believe they can behave With impunity because they wear A holy red cross on their chest. Only a king should bear that mark, It's an emblem for a royal breast.

COMMANDER Ortuño. Give me the Mayor's staff.

ESTEBAN. My lord, please take it and welcome.

COMMANDER. I will break this across your back As if you were a stubborn old donkey.

ESTEBAN. You are my master. I must obey.

PASCUALA. You'll beat an innocent old man?

LAURENCIA You're beating him to punish me. And what crime have I committed?

COMMANDER. Seize her! Bind her! And lock her up! I want her guarded by ten men.

Exit COMMANDER and SOLDIERS, with LAURENCIA and FRONDOSO. ESTEBAN. Heaven, we await your justice. Exit ESTEBAN.

PASCUALA. It was a wedding, now it's a wake. Exit PASCUALA

BARRILDO. Friends, who'll make a stand with me? MENGO. I stood up and I got knocked down, Oppose him and he'll have you whipped.

JUAN ROJO. We must meet up and talk.

MENGO. Not me! If you want my advice, go home. Keep your heads down and say nothing. His men beat me so hard, my arse Looks like a pair of raw salmon steaks.

Exit all.

End of Act Two.


Scene 1

A meeting room in the town hall in Fuente Ovejuna.

ESTEBAN. Can we begin?

BARRILDO. We're still waiting on some people. ESTEBAN Every minute we lose moves us closer to disaster.

BARRILDO. Everyone's been told the last few are on their way.

ESTEBAN Frondoso arrested and facing eecution, Laurencia abducted, facing God knows what. Merciful Heaven! You have to find a way to . Enter JUAN ROJO and a COUNCILLOR


Esteban. Stop shouting. You can be heard outside. This meeting must be secret. We all depend on that.

ESTEBAN. It's a miracle I don't shout any louder.

Enter MENGO.

MENGO. I decided to come, let the meeting begin.

ESTEBAN. Honourable farmers and friends, I stand before you An old man whose white beard is wet with tears, To ask what funeral rites can be spoken Over the rotting corpse of our once dear town? Such sacred words demand an honourable voice And who amongst us can still lay claim to that? Is there a man in this room whose dignity has Escaped unscathed? Look around you, council members. There is no one here that man has not disgraced. We share the same suffering, the same enemy. We have endured enough: what have we left to fear?

JUAN ROJO. We have endured the worst crimes imaginable. However, I've received news that Ferdinand and Isabella, having secured peace in Castile, Are making their way south: I propose that we send Two council members to meet them in Córdoba To fall at their feet and to beg them for justice!

BARRILDO. But Ferdinand and Isabella are fighting Many battles on many fronts; they won't have time To deal with our troubles. With the greatest respect, I think we should try to find another solution.

LEONELO. If anyone would like to hear my opinion I vote that we evacuate the town. Tonight!

JUAN ROJO. Not practical! Evacuation would take days!

MENGO. If the Commander finds out we're up to something Like that, he will kill every last man in this room.

ALONSO My friends, the mast of our little ship is broken And we are sailing in a dangerous sea Beyond thoughts of tolerance, restraint or fear. With brutal violence he abducted the daughter Of the good man who governs our community, And across his honest back with no sense of shame We saw him break the ancient staff of office! What slave was ever treated with such vile contempt?

JUAN ROJO. But what do you advise? What can the people do?

ALONSO We lie down and die or kill those who abuse us. There are so few of them and so many of us.

BARRILDO. You mean take up arms against our sovereign lord?

ESTEBAN In the eyes of God only the King is sovereign. We owe no loyalty to men who behave like Wild animals, and if Heaven supports our cause What have we to fear? MENGO. Gentlemen, it's important We proceed from here with all possible caution. I represent the peasants, perhaps the poorest Members of our community, who I fear would Suffer the most should we follow your proposal.

JUAN ROJO. What is left to fear? Our lives are being destroyed! His men are burning down our homes and our vineyards! He is a tyrant! It is time to take revenge.

Enter LAURENCIA, dishevelled.

LAURENCIA. Let me in, open the door. I want to address this meeting, Though I'm not allowed to vote here, I have the right to plead my case. Do you recognise me?

ESTEBAN God, help us! Is that my daughter?

JUAN ROJO There she is. Laurencia!

LAURENCIA. Yes, it's me: In such a state that you don't know me.

ESTEBAN. Daughter!

LAURENCIA. No! Don't call me that! Not 'daughter.

ESTEBAN. Why, my precious one? Why not that?

LAURENCIA. I have my reasons. Let's begin with the obvious. You stood and watched as I was snatched, Abducted on my wedding day, Watched, without lifting a finger, When protecting me was clearly Your responsibility: your job To fight for me, you failed: your job To take revenge, you let me down. Before the wedding night it's the Father, not the husband, who should Protect the women of his house: When you buy a diamond ring You're not liable for its safety, Not for you to fight off criminals Not until it's safe at home.

You watched his thugs seize me and Drag me to his lair like a Frightened shepherd watches a wolf Run off with a lamb in its jaws. They held their weapons to my throat, Whispered obscenities in my ears, Used every kind of cunning trick To make me yield my body up To his vile, insatiable lust! Does my hair tell you a story? The scratches on my neck and chest? The bruises on my thighs? The blood? And you call yourselves good fathers? And you call yourselves decent men? Your hearts should burst wide open To see one of your own like this! Fuente Ovejuna! That's us. The spring of fresh water for sheep, And how appropriate the name When timid lambs live here, not men! You blocks of stone, coldhearted as The tigress: no, not the tigress, For she ferociously chases down The hunters who steal her children, Killing them without mercy before Throwing herself into the sea: So, not tigresses, no, but rabbits! Hiding in your little holes: you Roosters strutting on a dunghill While other men violate your wives. Why do those swords hang at your sides? Why don't I lend you my knitting Needles to stick into your belts! Then you can watch us do the job. Women! We'll wipe away the stain, Drink the blood of the abusers: Then we will stone you in the streets, You cowards! You eunuchs! You traitors! We'll parade you about the town Dressed in our Sunday best, a nice Headscarf, a smart skirt, a dab of Perfume and a smudge of rouge, so: Listen. Up there, the Commander Is going to hang Frondoso Without any kind of charge, Without any kind of trial, Hang him from a tree in his yard Then he'll come for you and I'll rejoice As he empties this village of its Gutless and impotent failures, And we will replace you, a tribe Of brave Amazonian women Will restore dignity to this town And our deeds will stagger the world. ESTEBAN. My daughter, I am not sitting here To be called any more vile names. It's time to fight and I'm going, I'll go alone if I have to. No matter what's decided here.

JUAN ROJO. I'm with you! It is time to fight, However strong our enemy.

ALONSO. We fight as one! We die as one!

BARRILDO. We march together, heads held high.

JUAN ROJO. In what order shall we march?

MENGO We go now and kill him without Thinking about marching order, We're united, with one desire: Yes? To kill those who abuse us!

ESTEBAN Arm yourselves with knives and daggers, Swords and sickles, pikes and hammers!

MENGO. Long live the King and Queen!

ALL. Our true masters!

LAURENCIA. Form ourselves into an army And do such things that the world Will never forget our names: Jacinta! The awful things you've suffered Will be our inspiration. You lead our brigade of women!

JACINTA. But they hurt you as much as me.

MENGO. And death to those who abuse us!

ALL. Those who abuse us must die!

Exit all but LAURENCIA.

LAURENCIA, Pascuala! You be our standard bearer!

PASCUALA. I'll find a banner and a staff And carry our colours with pride.

LAURENCIA. Hoist a headscarf on a broomstick, No time for digging out banners, Fortune is smiling on us now, Let's grasp the moment while it's ours!

PASCUALA. Who'll be our Cid, our Rodomonte!

LAURENCIA. Go! Now! Fight! Heaven protect them. Women of Fuente Ovejuna. Hear me! Come! Come here! Come now! Come and reclaim your dignity.


PASCUALA. Laurencia, what's going on?!

LAURENCIA. Come! Come and see our men running To destroy Guzmán and his thugs! Look, there, young men, old men and boys. Running to do what must be done. Now, let me ask you, is it right That only our men should enjoy The glory of this night? The abuse We've endured is no less than theirs.

JACINTA. What do you suggest we do?

LAURENCIA. No one! Because when I'm on fire We need no hero from the past To lead us screaming into battle!

Scene 2


COMMANDER. It's time to take him into the yard and hang him. You can use the rope left over from binding his hands. And disembowel him before you string him up.

FRONDOSO. My lord, how will history judge your actions?

COMMANDER Hang him from the almond tree net to the wall.

FRONDOSO. Sir, I never intended to fire that bolt. I wasn't trying to kill you!

FLORES Stop! Listen. COMMANDER. What?

FLORES. An angry mob are marching up here, coming To stop the elecution.

ORTUÑO. They're ramming the gates!

COMMANDER. This is a residence of the sacred order! How dare they touch my gates?

JUAN ROJO (off). Knock them down! Tear them down! Smash! Destroy! And burn!

ORTUÑO. When a mob's fired up like that it's hard to contain.

COMMANDER. My people, rise up against me?

FLORES They're on fire! They've broken down your gates and they're running this way.

COMMANDER You. Quickly. Untie his hands. And you. Frondoso. Go and calm them. Talk to the Mayor.

FRONDOSO. My lord, it is love that inspires them to do this.


MENGO (off). Long live Ferdinand and Isabella, and death To the traitors!

FLORES. Sir, please, I am begging you! Don't let that mob find you here.

COMMANDER There are soldiers out there. ALL. Fuente Ovejuna! Long live King Ferdinand! Death to the evil one! The traitors must die! COMMANDER. You will listen to me! You will let me say my piece! I am your lord and master! If they try to enter this room they'll encounter Very stern resistance.

FLORES When a mob is raging With such an insane passion it won't stop until It gets what it came for, sir: that's blood and revenge!

COMMANDER Draw your swords. This threshold will be our portcullis. We will cut out this ugly passion with our steel. FRONDOSO (off). Justice! For Fuente Ovejuna!

COMMANDER. The lout's turned, Captain! I'll go and smash those words back down his peasant throat.

FLORES. Your reckless words are filling me with terror, sir!

ESTEBAN (off). Fuente Ovejuna! Kill Guzmán and his thugs! Fuente Ovejuna! Now we kill the traitors! Enter the MEN of Fuente Ovejuna, armed. COMMANDER. My people! Listen. Wait!

ALL Our revenge cannot wait! COMMANDER. Let me hear every complaint against me. I swear On my honour, I will resolve every grievance. Our true masters Are King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella!

COMMANDER Wait! ALL. Fuente Ovejuna! Death to the Commander!

Exit all.

Scene 3

Outside the COMMANDER's residence. Enter the WOMEN of Fuente Ovejuna, armed.

LAURENCIA. Stop here, women, soldiers, hungry for justice. Here is the place where our dreams will be fulfilled.

PASCUALA. Tyrant! Quake!

PEASANT WOMAN. Women have come to take revenge!

PASCUALA. Let him come out here. Watch me spill his evil blood.

JACINTA. Throw him from the window. We'll catch him on our spears.

PASCUALA. Come, throw him down, our spikes are hungry for his flesh.

ESTEBAN (off). Die! Commander! Tyrant! Abuser! Die!

COMMANDER (off). I'm dead. May God forgive me and have mercy on my soul.

BARRILDO (off). Here comes that pimp Flores.

MENGO (off). Let me at that bastard. That vicious monster turned my backside black and blue.

FRONDOSO (off). I want him. I'm going to rip out his rotten soul.

LAURENCIA. Why are we holding back? Let's go inside!

PASCUALA. But surely: We should stay out here and guard the doors.

BARRILDO (off). No mercy, None. Now it's your turn to be afraid. Your turn to weep.

LAURENCIA. Pascuala, I'm going in, I can't wait any longer, I can't keep this sword sleeping in its scabbard. Exit LAURENCIA. BARRILDO (off). Who's that? Here comes Ortuño.

FRONDOSO (off). Slash his ugly face!

Enter FLORES with MENGO, chasing

FLORES. Mengo, have mercy. I was following orders.

MENGO. You were the tyrant's pimp, for that you deserve to die! But then you whipped me! That's a second death sentence!

PASCUALA. Mengo, give him to us. Let us women have him. Lay off him, let him go!

MENGO. Pascuala, you're right, he's your prize. Who could punish him better? Take him and kill him.

PASCUALA. We'll avenge your beating!

JACINTA. Enough talk. Let's do it.

FLORES. Murdered by the hands of women?

JACINTA. But isn't that fitting?

PASCUALA. Women's hands not good enough?

JACINTA. You organised his evil pleasures. Now you suffer.

PASCUALA. Pimp, prepare to die.

FLORES. Mercy. Ladies. Forgive me,

Enter ORTUÑO, fleeing LAURENCIA.

ORTUÑO. Please! I swear! It wasn't me!

LAURENCIA. I know who you are! Women, time to go inside and dip your weapons In the tyrant's blood!

PASCUALA. I'll gorge on that until I burst!

ALL Fuente Ovejuna! Long live the Catholic Kings!

Exit all.

Scene 4

The Court of the Catholic Kings in Toledo. Enter DON MANRIQUE, KING FERDINAND, QUEEN ISABELLA and COURTIERS. MANI Your Majesty, all went to plan. Our strategy proved effective And our objectives were fulfilled Efficiently, with few losses. The forces of Calatrava Offered little resistance But had they offered more, our troops Would have risen to the challenge. The Count of Cabra has remained In the city as a precaution Against any counterattack Rodrigo might launch against us.

FERDINAND A very prudent decision. We'll send Cabra reinforcements. He can supervise the rebuilding And maintain control of the pass. With a stronghold in Ciudad Real We've no reason to fear Portugal's Troops on our border. We can Block any advance from the west: I am sure the Count will govern The city with his customary Bravery and skill, defending Our victory and securing us Against future attack. He'll be a vigilant watchman, A sentinel for his country's good.

Enter FLORES, wounded.

FLORES. Ferdinand, great Catholic King, To whom Heaven in its wisdom Has given the Crown of Castile: I come to report the worst crime Ever witnessed by the eyes of man In any land visited by the sun!

FERDINAND Soldier. Calm yourself.

FLORES. My lord I'm wounded and my time is short, Let me report what has happened Quickly: while I can still draw breath. I come from Fuente Ovejuna Where the mutinous subjects Of that rebellious town have, Without right and without mercy, Murdered their feudal lord. Fernán Gómez is dead, slaughtered In his own home by a savage mob. Serfs who have a mind to feel wronged Revolt with little provocation. They called him tyrant and with that Harsh and unproven accusation Their only justification, They committed their hideous crime. They smashed down his gates, he swore On his sacred honour as a knight To listen to all their complaints But they were deaf to all his words And a multitude of cruel blades Carved holes in the cross on his breast. His corpse was thrown from a window Onto the points of spikes and spears Held by a mob of women below, Who dragged his body to a barn Where, crying with rage and delight, They fought each other for the right To rip the beard clean off his face. They smashed his teeth with the pommel Of his own sword, and they hacked At his corpse with such bestial Spite that the largest parts of him That remained were his ears. His coat of arms was stamped in the Dirt and they bellowed allegiance To you and your Queen, promising To raise your flag, announcing that All these deeds were done in your name. They ransacked his home as if Plundering some fallen city, Sharing jokes as they debated Who should take the richest pickings. I saw all this from the hiding place Where malevolent fate decreed I should watch but not share my master's Tragic Exit from this harsh world. I lay in that ditch all day, waiting.

BARRILDO. Your turn, Frondoso. For darkness so I might escape And come here to give you an honest Account of these terrible events. Your Majesty, you're a good king. Let the world now witness your justice. My master's blood cries out for revenge, Let these cruel monsters feel the full force Of a just king's retribution!

FERDINAND. Captain, you may rest assured These crimes will not go unpunished. What you have told us is without Precedent and I am amazed. We will send a magistrate to Confirm this soldier's report And arrest all guilty parties. This crime must be seen to receive The punishment that it deserves. We'll send a captain with the judge, The town might still be dangerous. Let this soldier's wounds be looked to.

FRONDOSO. Here we go. Anyone who doesn't like it, Will he please keep his mouth shut. (Singing.) To Isabel I sing, And Ferdinand, her King, Who love and rule as one. On the day that they are done, God take them by the hand, Unto the Promised Land. Victory to our King and Queen, And death to the abusers! CITIZENS (singing). Victory to our King and Queen, Isabel y Fernando, And death to the abusers!

LAURENCIA. Barrildo, your turn.

BARRILDO. I'm ready. But singing is not my strong point.

Exit all.

Scene 5

The town square in Fuente Ovejuna. The head of the COMMANDER is fied on a pole. Enter CITIZENS of Fuente Ovejuna, bloodsoaked and singing.

CITIZENS (singing). Victory to our King and Queen Oh, it still drips with blood and gore. Now Guzmán's gone, a pile of bone, Bastard should have left my arse alone! Victory to our King and Queen, And death to the abusers!

CITIZENS (singing). Victory to our King and Queen, Isabel y Fernando, And death to the abusers! Muchos años vivan Isabel y Fernando, Y mueran los tiranos!

Enter ESTEBAN and JUAN ROJO, carrying a new coat of arms.

PASCUALA. · Take a deep breath, and sing it loud. We'll all clap and say you were great!

BARRILDO (singing). Here's to our Catholic Kings, Doing such wonderful things. Bringing justice to our land. They hold our future in their hands. Let's hope they always shall Defeat the King of Portugal. Victory to our King and Queen, And death to the abusers!

CITIZENS (singing). Victory to our King and Queen, Isabel y Fernando, And death to the abusers! LAURENCIA. It's Mengo time!

FRONDOSO. Ready, Mengo?

MENGO. As a poet I'm but a novice.

PASCUALA Though as a whipping post, your butt Has seen some action! Sing it.

MENGO (singing). One night my skin was torn, They left my bum forlorn. They beat it hard and made it sore,

ESTEBAN Will someone take that figure down?

MENGO. It's like a ghost haunting the square.

The head and the pole are removed.

ESTEBAN Here comes the new escutcheon.

FRONDOSO. Show us our new coat of arms.

JUAN ROJO. Where would you like me to display this?

ESTEBAN There. On the doors of the town hall.

ESTEBAN Is everyone happy with this?

ALL. We are. ESTEBAN. Now, let's rehearse what might happen So we're ready when trouble comes. I'll play the interrogator, And you, Mengo, you'll play yourself On the rack

MENGO. But shouldn't you use Someone more likely to confess?

LEONELO. It makes me proud.

BARRILDO. It's beautiful.

FRONDOSO. Our dark times are almost over. The sun is beginning to rise. ESTEBAN. Let us salute the proud colours Of Aragon and Old Castile. And may this town never again Live under tyranny's darkness. Now, Fuente Ovejuna, will you Listen to some words of advice? You know, I think it never hurts To pay attention to the old folk. What's happened here can't be ignored, There'll be an investigation. The King and Queen might get involved, We're on the route they're taking south. We must know what we're going to say.

FRONDOSO. What do you suggest?

ESTEBAN We stick together! And when the interrogator asks, We speak these words and nothing else: *Fuente Ovejuna did it.'

FRONDOSO. That's a good answer. And it's true. Fuente Ovejuna did it.

ESTEBAN But you're the best actor!

MENGO. Let's do it. ESTEBAN Peasant! Who killed the Commander?

MENGO. Fuente Ovejuna did it.

ESTEBAN. Rustic scum, you'll die on this rack.

MENGO. Kill me! I am saying nothing. ESTEBAN Criminal! Confess!

ESTEBAN Friends, there's no need to be afraid. Mengo, please, remind us all: Who killed the Commander!

MENGO We did. Fuente Ovejuna.

Exit all.

MENGO. Stop! Enough!

ESTEBAN. Who killed him?

MENGO. Fuente Ovejuna!

ESTEBAN The people of Fuente Ovejuna Shit on this investigation. Enter ALONSO

ALONSO Laughing? You haven't heard the news.

FRONDOSO. Alonso, what's happened? Speak out.

ALONSO King Ferdinand has sent a judge.

ESTEBAN. Everyone go directly home.

ALONSO He's come with a battalion of troops.

ESTEBAN Let him come with an army of devils! We all know what we have to say.

ALONSO They're smashing down people's doors, and Arresting children in the street.

Scene Six

The residence of the GRAND MASTER of Calatrava, Almagro. Enter the GRAND MASTER of Calatrava and CIMBRANOS.

MASTER You're sure! This actually happened? It's obscene! What a way to die! And you, slave, deserve to die for Bringing me such terrible news.

CIMBRANOS. My lord, I am the messenger. I have no desire to distress you.

MASTER The whole town rose against him? Murdered him, and looted his home? I'll visit this remote, lawless place With five hundred troops and I will Wipe it off the face of the earth! No one will remember their names!

CIMBRANOS. Sire, you must proceed with caution. The people have sworn allegiance To Ferdinand and Isabella; Don't provoke the Catholic Kings.

MASTER. How can they change their allegiance, They are subjects of Calatrava?

CIMBRANOS. You must negotiate that with King Ferdinand, but it wouldn't be wise To take military action.

MASTER If the town has pledged itself To Ferdinand and Isabel I'll never regain sovereignty. My only course now is to accept The victory of the Catholic Kings. It's time to swallow my anger And my pride and sue for peace. Though I've grievously offended, My youth is some kind of ecuse, I will go and b This is the true path and I will Not shirk the way of honour.


In the street, outside LAURENCIA's front door, Fuente Ovejuna. Enter LAURENCIA.

LAURENCIA. When danger threatens the lives of those we cherish A new pain is added to the lover's sphere, For fear generates a fresh and brutal anguish When the peril that surrounds our loved ones is severe. And even if our hearts are without blemish, They are quickly swayed when overrun by fear, It is hard to face the loss of all we relish, And watch aniety destroy all we hold most dear. I love my husband: think only of his good But to be sure of his survival he can't stay here, That he is still alive is an act of God: But how will I live without him always near? He stays, my heart is torn with constant fears. He goes, I cry a sea of bitter tears.

FRONDOSO. Laurencia!

LAURENCIA. Frondoso. Husband. This is reckless! You have to go!

FRONDOSO. Concern for you brings me here, Is 'Go away' my only welcome?!

LAURENCIA. My love, I am thinking of you. It's dangerous and I'm frightened. I call on and beg foroveness

Exit both.

FRONDOSO. Dear Heaven, keep me from breeding Fear in this brave woman's heart.

LAURENCIA. You know all our neighbours have been Arrested and are soon to be Interrogated and tortured: Don't you fear the judge's anger? My love, try to avoid danger, Not seek it out. Save your life! Run!

FRONDOSO. Do you think I could run away? Abandon my friends and family? Stop seeing this beautiful face? Stop looking into these beautiful eyes? Never. Don't ask me. It's not right. How could I live with myself if To save my own selfish skin I turned my back on all I cherish, All that makes me who I am?

A cry, off. I heard a cry.

LAURENCIA. The interrogation

JUDGE and PRISONERS speak, off. LAURENCIA and FRONDOSO listen on stage. JUDGE. Speak, old fool, tell me the truth.

FRONDOSO. Laurencia, they're torturing An old man,

LAURENCIA. Without mercy!

ESTEBAN. Enough, I've had enough!

JUDGE. Release him! So, who killed Commander Guzmán?

ESTEBAN Who? Fuente Ovejuna!

LAURENCIA. Father, your name will live for ever!

FRONDOSO. Esteban, you did it!

JUDGE. Little boy. You know the name of the killer! Not going to speak? Pull harder there! Who killed Commander Guzmán? In the King's name, peasants, I swear I will kill you all with my bare hands: Boy, who killed Commander Guzmán?

BOY. Fuente Ovejuna did it.

FRONDOSO. They put a child on the rack And even he won't be broken.

PASCUALA. God in Heaven, help me!

JUDGE. Tighter! Tighter! Give me a name!

PASCUALA. Fuente Ovejuna!

LAURENCIA Our people are brave!

FRONDOSO. Brave and strong!

JUDGE. Bring the girl here, that one, quickly! Tie her down and tighten the screws. Pull that rope. Harder! Fool! Scum!

LAURENCIA. He's blind with rage.

JUDGE. Listen, woman! I don't care if you die on this rack! Tell me, who killed the Commander?

PASCUALA. Fuente Ovejuna did it!

JUDGE. Harder! Pull! Ah! Get rid of her! Bring me the fat peasant. Yes! Him! That's right. Rip the shirt off his back!

LAURENCIA. Now it's Mengo's turn to be brave.

FRONDOSO. I'm afraid that Mengo might break.


JUDGE. Will you tighten those screws!

MENGO. Ah! Ah!

JUDGE You there! Help him. Pull!

MENGO. Ah! Ah! Ah! JUDGE. So, now, are you ready to speak? Who killed the Commander? Tell me!

FRONDOSO. He's wasting his time!

LAURENCIA. That's Pascuala. She's being so strong!

FRONDOSO. How can you be surprised when Even the children won't confess!

JUDGE. Tighter there!

BARRILDO. Mengo! You did it!

FRONDOSO. You didn't break!

MENGO. I'll speak, I'll speak, I'll tell you who.

JUDGE. You, put some slack in that rope there.

FRONDOSO. He's broken. He's going to speak.

JUDGE. Now, do you want another stretch? Or are you ready to confess?

MENGO. I've had enough pain, I'll confess.

JUDGE. So, who killed Commander Guzmán?

BARRILDO. Mengo! You’re a hero!

FRONDOSO. You did it!

MENGO. Ah. Ah, em

BARRILDO. Take this, my friend, and drink. Something to eat?

MENGO. What?

BARRILDO. Rice pudding

MENGO (laughing). The folk who dig fields and tend sheep! Fuente Ovejuna! We did it!

JUDGE. A conspiracy of rogues and cheats Who laugh in the face of torture! The man I most expected to break Offered the greatest resistance: Untie his hands. I'm tired of this.

FRONDOSO. May Heaven bless you, Mengo. I feared you'd break but your courage Proved much stronger than my faith.

Enter the CITIZENS of Fuente Ovejuna.

MENGO. Uh! Uh.

FRONDOSO. Have some wine.

BARRILDO. There we go.

FRONDOSO. He's gulping that down, he'll live.

LAURENCIA. You must give him something to eat.

MENGO. Tastes like vinegar. Oh, oh dear. Take me in, I'm feeling shaky. FRONDOSO. Take him in. Put him to bed. And Mengo, who killed the Commander?

MENGO. Peasant louts and drunken shepherds. Fuente Ovejuna. We did it.

Exit all but FRONDOSO and LAURENCIA.

FRONDOSO. And now, my love, tell me the truth: Who killed Commander Guzmán?

LAURENCIA. Fuente Ovejuna.

FRONDOSO. You can tell me: Who actually killed him?

LAURENCIA. I told you! Fuente Ovejuna!

FRONDOSO. And you; How did I ever conquer you?

LAURENCIA. With love, with loving me so much.

Exit both.

Scene 8

Córdoba. Enter FERDINAND and ISABELLA. ISABELLA. My lord, I'm surprised and pleased To see you here in Córdoba.

FERDINAND The joy of secing you, my lady, Brings new light to my eyes. I was on my way to Portugal And couldn't resist a detour.

ISABELLA, I hope, my lord, you will Never resist such diversions.

FERDINAND How did you leave Castile?

ISABELLA. At peace. Order and unity restored.

FERDINAND I'm pleased but not surprised, my lady, As you've worked so hard for peace.


MANRIQUE The Master of Calatrava Is outside and requests an Audience with Your Majesties.

ISABELLA. I've looked forward to this meeting.

MANRIQUE. I would ask you to remember That though he is young and reckless He is a courageous soldier.

Enter the GRAND MASTER of Calatrava.

MASTER. Don Rodrigo Téllez Girón, Grand Master of Calatrava, Comes here in all humility To beg forgiveness for the wrong, The very great wrong, he's done you. I gave heed to the bad advice Of Fernán Gómez de Guzmán, Who spoke to my vanity and pride, False councillors both, and now On my knees I ask your pardon: If you consider me worthy Of mercy, a mercy I withheld From others, I will happily Pledge my life to your service, Giving all that I have to support Your campaign in Granada, Where I will show my true worth Wielding this sword in your cause, Putting your enemies to flight, Hanging redcrossed banners from The highest battlements of the Moor. I place at your disposal An army of five hundred men, met And I promise never again To cause you anger or distress.

FERDINAND Rise, young Master, from the ground. Such sincerity will always Find a welcome in these arms.

MASTER You bring comfort to the penitent.

ISABELLA. You have shown grace and wisdom In all your words and actions here.

MASTER. My lady, as beautiful as Esther. My lord, as merciful as eres.

MANRIQUE. Your Majesty, the magistrate You sent to Fuente Ovejuna Has returned and wishes to present His report: will you receive him?

FERDINAND Will you judge these assassins?

MASTER. Were it in my power, my lord, I'd punish this town severely, They murdered the High Commander Of the Order of Calatrava.

ISABELLA Rodrigo, we'll hear the evidence, Make our judgement and then place Their punishment in your hands.

Enter JUDGE.

JUDGE. I visited, as you instructed, The town of Fuente Ovejuna And with due care and diligence Conducted an investigation: At the conclusion of which I Must report I've not managed to Record one word of evidence, Or, indeed, the name of a single Guilty party, as the people Of the town when asked, answered Every one of my enquiries With a fearless resilience: Fuente Ovejuna did it.' I tortured three hundred souls With the utmost severity And can assure Your Majesties They would utter nothing else: Boys of ten were stretched on the rack Every kind of strategy from Brutality to flattery Was employed but to no avail. As it has proved impossible To gain any hard evidence, I believe you have two options: You must Exither pardon them all

FERDINAND. That duty is no longer yours. Or you must execute them all. They're outside and beg permission To plead their case in person and Give you a chance to question them.

FERDINAND. We will hear their plea, let them in.

Enter the CITIZENS of Fuente Ovejuna.

ISABELLA. Are these the brutal assassins? ESTEBAN. Your Majesty, before you kneels Fuente Ovejuna: we come here Today, in all humility: Your loyal and faithful subjects. The cruel tyranny of the late Commander was the cause of The devastation in our town, He abused us and our property He terrorised our womenfolk. He was a stranger to mercy,

MENGO. I think it's time I said my piece. Great King, mighty Queen, I warn you The story I'm about to tell May surprise and even shock you: When I tried to keep this woman Out of the clutches of his men, Who were at that moment trying To abduct her, that man, who was As cruel and perverse as Nero, Gave orders that his soldiers should Treat me in a way that's left my Bottom looking eactly like Two slices of freshcut salmon. Three strong and muscular soldiers Set about my backside with such Violence, vigour and persistence, I fear the scars may never heal: In an attempt to make my buttocks Whole again I've purchased so many Oils, plasters, bandages and cream, I've been forced to sell most of my flock.

ESTEBAN, Your Majesty, we wish to live Under your jurisdiction: we Believe you're our true master. We have hung your coat of arms On the doors of our town hall. We appeal to your mercy.

FERDINAND This was a terrible crime: but As there's no evidence to prove

FRONDOSO. This woman, whom Heaven in its Kindness has given to me as wife, Making me the luckiest of men, He snatched on our wedding day, Made her a prisoner in his house. She fought him like a lioness, And were she not the strongest, most Honourable of women, it's plain What he would have done to her. Who is responsible, I believe We've no choice but to pardon you. And as you've sworn allegiance to us, We will rule your town directly Until a Commander can be found Worthy to govern such a people.

FRONDOSO. Your Majesties, we thank you For your wisdom and mercy.

LAURENCIA. And here, my respected friends, Our play, Fuente Ovejuna, ends.

The End.