LOPE DE RUEDA
Born Sevilla c. 1510
Died Córdoba 1565
An outstanding figure of the early Spanish stage who did much to popularize the theatre and prepared the way for Lope de Vega.
A gold-beater by trade Rueda was probably influenced toward the stage by touring Italian actors. He organized a travelling theatre company and as its autor or author-manager took his troupe throught Spain.
He became popular and played before all levels of audience from Philip Ii to crows of rural townfolk.
His work was seen by Cervantes who praised him both as an actor and as a writer of verse.
His post important contributions to early Spanish drama are the pasos, comic representation drawn from the events of daily life and intended to be used as humorous relief between the acts of longer works or even incorporated into them as amusing interludes.
Written in prose they brought to the stage a natural language spoken by conventional figures -the simpleton, the master.
His longer works the comedias Medora, Armelina, Eufemia and Los engañados and the dialogues Camila, Tymbira and Prendas de amor derive directly from Italian comedy.
JUAN RUIZ DE ALARCÓN
Born Taxco México c. 1581
Died Madrid 1639
Mexican-born Spanish dramatist of the colonial era and principal dramatist of early 17th-century Spain after Lope de Vega and Tirso de Molina.
His plays (24 published between 1628 and 1634) are notable for superb construction, psychological subtlety and ethical bias.
His comedies of life in Madrid centre around a defect in a man´s character. La verdad sospechosa is a study of inveterate lying, Las paredes oyen concerns slander, La prueba de las promesas an attack on ingratitude.
He was educated at Salamanca and was appointed to the Council for the Indies in 1626.
A hunchback of testy temperament he was often lampooned by rival dramatist especially Lope de Vega.