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José Zorrilla

  • José Zorrilla © M.C.Esteban/Iberfoto

    José Zorrilla © M.C.Esteban/Iberfoto

  

Speciality

Literature, Theatre

 

 

Date of birth

Feb 21, 1817

Date of death

1893
  


" Poet and playwright. One of the greatest figureheads of Spanish Romanticism, he is the highest representative of its nationalist and traditional side."

He was born in Valladolid in 1817 and boarded at the Royal Seminary of Nobles in Madrid. The death of Ferdinand VII changed his family’s destiny and the Carlist wars took them to Lerma. He was sent to Toledo to study law but dedicated his time to reading Walter Scott and Espronceda and leading a bohemian lifestyle. In 1837 he read an elegy at the Larra funeral and became the favourite poet of Madrid. He dominated the Spanish stage between 1839 and 1849. A bad marriage caused a rift with his family and obliged him to leave the theatre. He emigrated to France in 1850 and then to Mexico in 1855. He returned in 1866 and married again. He died, as he lived, in poverty. He died in Madrid in 1893.

Essential works

  • Costume design by Salvador Dalí for the staging of “Don Juan Tenorio”. National Theatre Museum, Almagro © Ministerio de Cultura

    Don Juan Tenorio

    Zorrilla reinterprets one of the great myths of Spanish literature in a work that has become the most frequently performed play in the history of Spanish theatre.

    More info

Other highlighted works

  • El zapatero y el rey
  • A buen juez mejor testigo
  • A la memoria de Larra
spain is culture