Lope de Vega's and Webster's Amalfi Plays


In lieu of an abstract, the first paragraph of the essay follows:

Few Spanish and English plays offer more attractive subjects for comparative study than Lope .de Vega's El mayordomo de la Duquesa de Amalfi and John Webster's The Duchess of Malfi, plays with a common source in a novella by Matteo Bandello and yet having resemblances to each other that cannot be explained by reference to that source. Here are two major dramatists transforming the same Italian story into tragedies representative of their national dramas. Webster's play is as highly prized as any non-Shakespearean tragedy of the Jacobean era. Lope's tragedy is good, though it is not in the first rank of the enormous corpus of his drama. Had it been written by a less prolific man, it would no doubt have attracted more attention.1

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