Spanish and Portuguese ETDs

Publication Date

Spring 3-11-1954


During the sixteenth century, the Spanish theater began to indicate the tendencies that the drama was to follow in the Golden Age, although there remained numerous vestiges of medieval drama, consisting principally of religious works called autos or misterios and secular works called farsas or juegos de escarnio. Juan del Encina (1468?-1529?), who is often referred to as the "Father of Spanish Drama," continued the medieval tradition in his works (called eglogas because shepherds usually figure in them), which are mainly religious in subject-matter. However, several are festive in nature and contain the first manifestations of the comic genre, which was known later in the sixteenth century as the paso.

Juan de la Cueva (1543-1610) and Miguel de Cervantes (1547-1616) followed these dramatists chronologically, and gave impetus to the development of the Spanish theater during its era of transition from the sixteenth century to the Golden Age. They wrote comedies and tragedies, helping to mold the path for the dramatic giants of Spanish literature of the seventeenth century.

Hence this study will attempt to disclose the actual extent of Juan de la Cueva's influence on Cervantes' subject-matter, style, characterization, ideology and versification. In view of the fact that many critics have limited themselves to making general statements about Cervantes' indebtedness to Cueva, without comparing in detail the essential features of their respective plays, this analysis will seek to reveal whether these critics' suspicions are well-founded.

Degree Name

Spanish (MA)

Level of Degree


Department Name

Spanish and Portuguese

First Committee Member (Chair)

Raymond MacCurdy

Second Committee Member


Third Committee Member





Spanish Theater, Juan de la Cueva, Miguel de Cervantes, Seventeenth Century Spanish Literature

Document Type