LOPE de VEGA
1562 - 1635
Lope Felix de Vega Carpio, usually called Lope de Vega, was
born in Madrid and educated at the Jesuit Imperial College.
Lope quickly started writing plays for theaters in Madrid,
and he became the out-standing dramatist of the Spanish Golden Age.
He served in the Armada (1588), and settled for a while in Toledo on his return. From 1605 until his death Lope was private secretary to the duke of Sessa, Don Luis Fernandez de Cordoba.
After 1588 he produced a wide range of historical and con-temporary dramas - about 2000 plays and dramatic pieces, of which over 400 still survive. Several deal with historical topics, such as Alcalda de Zalamea; others deal with everyday life, the most characteristic being the 'cloak and dagger plays', such as Maestro de Danzar, Azero de Madrid, and Noche de San Juan.
He also wrote a wide range of works in other genres, such as the epic Jerusalen conquistada, the religious pastoral Pastores de Belen, and the drama Dorotea.
A private religious crisis led him to become a priest in 1614. He renounced drama and wrote religious poetry. He died poor, for his large income from his dramas and other sources was almost entirely devoted to charity and church.
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