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El retablo de las maravillas

  • 'El retablo de las maravillas'. National Classical Theatre Company © Ministerio de Cultura

    'El retablo de las maravillas'. National Classical Theatre Company © Ministerio de Cultura

  • Costume design by Guillén for 'El retablo de las maravillas'. National Classical Theatre Company © Ministerio de Cultura

    Costume design by Guillén for 'El retablo de las maravillas'. National Classical Theatre Company © Ministerio de Cultura

  

Category

Dramatic literature, Theatre

Date

1615

Original title

El retablo de las maravillas

Moralising interlude by Miguel de Cervantes in which he adapts the Oriental story of the Emperor's new clothes.

"El retablo de las maravillas, published for the first time in 1615, is an interlude by Miguel de Cervantes. The play is based on the Oriental story of the Emperor's new clothes, that don Juan Manuel adapted in his magnum opus "Count Lucanor" (around 1330), which Cervantes knew about.

In Cervantes' version, some rogues arrive in a town to put on an unusual play. And when they are about to do it, the actors say that only legitimate children and people who had been Christians all their life would be able to see the show. Then a soldier appears, says he is not able to see the show, and the village people, who are being tricked, make fun of him. The play ends with the soldiers hitting the people because of their foolishness.

It is a criticism of society in Cervantes' time, and its customs. It is specifically condemning the purity of blood statute that was made back then, which aimed to eradicate Islamism and Judaism in Spain.

  

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