Shelves: classics , spanish This Spanish play is the original work on which Verdi based his opera, Il Trovatore. It is very tragic, and half the main characters are dead at the end. It is like reading Shakespeare; the language is archaic, but easy enough to understand. The story is set in Spain, and there is a lot of political change going on, with small battles and traitors to the crown forming a rebellion. It makes for a great background in the story.
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Printed in U. His father wished him to become a doctor, but his own tendency towards poetry was so strong that he soon gave up all idea of a medical career and went to Madrid to seek his fortune. Here he wrote El Trovador , which was promptly rejected by the dramatic managers. After this disappointment he enlisted as a volunteer against the Carlists, and was in the army when his play was finally produced. Its success was instantaneous and overwhelming, and enabled the author to leave the army and give all his time to his chosen occupation.
He died August 26, Interest in the play is quickly aroused, and well sustained by the rapidity of the action. The characters, although well drawn, are not strong. Manrique is a selfish and ambitious man, who well deserves his fate.
Azucena is really the most interesting character in the play. The verse form of the drama is worthy of note. In general, scenes in which subordinates or common people appear are in prose, while those between nobles are in verse. When the action is of ordinary pitch, this verse is very simple; but when the action reaches a high pitch, the verse form becomes complicated.
El Trovador was given operatic form by the great Italian composer Giuseppi Verdi, and under its Italian title, Il Trovatore , is well known throughout the world. As great difference exists in the usage of the Spanish punctuation marks at the present day, it has been thought advisable in this edition to adopt in some cases what might be called mixed punctuation, that is, when there is a question which is also an exclamation, attention is called to the fact by the use of the interrogation point before and the exclamation point after the phrase or sentence.
The editor wishes to extend his thanks to Professor J. M Ford and Professor C. Grandgent of Harvard, Professor A. Le Duc and Mr. Schnacke of the University of Kansas, and Professor C. Wagner of the University of Michigan, who have rendered valuable assistance in the preparation of this edition.
Antonio García Gutiérrez
El Trovador, Antonio García Gutiérrez