One of the most famous Spanish poets and playwrights from the 20th century, García Lorca was an icon of his era. Born in 1898, he’s still one of the most known members of the Generation of '27.
His plays always dealt with death, unrequited or impossible love and full of angst, themes that resounded quite well in his own life; a tormented man that never seemed to find true happiness and could only exorcise his own demons through writing.
He also wrote a lot of poetry, along the same lines. While he considered himself first and foremost a poet, by the end of his life he started to focus more on plays, so his poetic output slowed down.
García Lorca was friends with both Salvador Dalí and Luis Buñuel. However, the relationship between them eroded after Dalí rejected his advances and eventually ended with the release of Un Chien Andalou, that García Lorca took as a personal attack (he was an Andalusian).
Lorca could be accurately defined as a true free soul. He had a deep social conscience, although he always declined to confine himself within political terms, claiming to be at the same time "Catholic, communist, anarchist, liberal, traditionalist and monarchist". He was a friend of both Falangists and socialists, which naturally only brought him trouble.
His life was tragically cut barely a month after the Spanish Civil War broke out. Having earned the ire of the fascist rebels, worsened by accusations of relatives who disputed with him over an inheritance, he sought refuge with friends in the Falange, but not even those could save him from being detained and executed.
His grave has not yet been found, having been deliberately hidden by his killers so it wold not become a point of pilgrimage.
Works of Federico García Lorca on the wiki:
Tropes in the works of Federico García Lorca:
- Animal Religion: In the poem "The Encounters of an Adventurous Snail", two old frogs have a conversation with the eponymous snail about God, praying and paradise. It turns out that the image of the snail paradise differs drastically from the image of the frog paradise, as each species imagines paradise as a place that would be ideally suited for their needs.
- Anthropomorphic Personification: The Moon and Death in Blood Wedding. The Moon appears as a young, male woodcutter while Death takes the shape of an old beggar woman.
- Ballad of X: “Ballad of the Day in June” and “Ballad of the Little Square” in Book of Poems. "Romances" from Romancero gitano are often translated into English as "ballads", leading to the whole book of this trope.
- The Big Rotten Apple: His book of poems Poet in New York portrays the city as a very creepy place.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: Some of his plays have a character of Author who addresses the audience at the beginning.
- Civilized Animal: Or, rather, Civilized Insects in The Butterfly's Evil Spell.
- Closet Shuffle: Used for the comical effect in The Billy-Club Puppets, where two Rosita's suitors end up hidden in two wardrobes that are conveniently located in the same room.
- Death of a Child: Concierge's son in Once Five Years Pass, who is heavily implied to be Dead Boy.
- "The Girl Who Drowned in the Well" from Poet in New York.
- Does Not Like Men: The Old Woman in Christ tells Esther that "men cannot love".
- "Double, Double" Title: "Ballad of the Moon, Moon".
- Downer Ending: His plays tend to end this way.
- Dramatic Ellipsis: You can hardly find a prose work without them in his juvenilia.
- Enter Stage Window: Cocoliche visits Rosita this way in The Billy-Club Puppets.
- Evil Matriarch: Bernarda Alba in The House of Bernarda Alba.
- Floral Motifs: Often appear in his poetry. Among his plays, the biggest example is Doña Rosita the Spinster, subtitled "The Language of Flowers". This subtitle refers specifically to the language of flowers popular at the time during which the play takes place.
- Floral Theme Naming: The main female characters in Doña Rosita the Spinster, The Puppet Play of Don Cristóbal and The Billy-Club Puppets are all named Rosita, which is short for "Rosa" (rose).
- Friend to Bugs: Insects are often portrayed positively in his poetry and even made main characters of some poems, as well as of the early play The Butterfly's Evil Spell.
- Gossipy Hens: In Yerma, village women gossip about Yerma while they wash their laundry in the river.
- Henpecked Husband: The Shoemaker in The Shoemaker's Prodigious Wife. Eventually he can't take it anymore and leaves his wife.
- Historical Domain Character: Spanish national hero Mariana Pineda in the play with the same name and Buster Keaton in Buster Keaton Takes a Walk.
- Incest-ant Admirer: Amnon in "Thamar and Amnon" from Gypsy Ballads lusts after his sister Thamar and ends up raping her.
- I Will Wait for You: Doña Rosita the Spinster.
- Jesus: The Early Years: The subject of his early play Christ.
- Kids Are Cruel: Dead Cat in Once Five Years Pass reveals that she was stoned to death by boys.
- Law of Inverse Fertility: Yerma.
- The Legend of X: Once Five Years Pass is subtitled "The Legend of Time".
- Love Dodecahedron: Typist in Once Five Years Pass is in love with Young Man, who is in love (or thinks he is in love) with his Fiancée, who is secretly in relationship with Rugby Player and eventually leaves Young Man for him.
- Also occurs in Mariana Pineda, where Fernando, Pedrosa and perhaps Amparo are all in love with Mariana, who is madly in love with Pedro Sotomayor; while Pedro and Mariana are in relationship, at the end it turns out that her love for him was much stronger that his for her.
- Rosita and Cocoliche in The Billy-Club Puppets are in love and want to get married, while a wealthy Don Cristobita wants Rosita for himself; the matters get even more complicated with appearance of Rosita’s ex, Currito, who’s still in love with her while she isn’t interested in him anymore.
- Leonardo, Bride, Groom and Leonardo's Wife in Blood Wedding.
- Loves My Alter Ego: In The Love of Don Perlimplín the dashing young man whom Belisa loves turns out to be her elderly husband Perlimplín in disguise.
- Love Triangle: They are common in his plays. Curianito, his fiancée and Butterfly in Butterfly's Evil Spell; Belisa, Perlimplín and Perlimplín in disguise in The Love of Don Perlimplín; Yerma, Juan and Victor in Yerma (though Yerma and Victor’s relationship are more like the romance that could, and perhaps should, have been). When his plays don’t have a Love Triangle, they often have a Love Dodecahedron instead.
- Mind Screw: The air of mystery and highly unusual metaphors that sometimes obscure the meaning are staples of Lorca's poetry, but the works from the late 1920s and early 1930s, many of which show the influence of Surrealism, take it up a notch.
- Nameless Narrative: The Shoemaker's Prodigious Wife, Blood Wedding, Once Five Years Pass, The Audience and The Play Without a Title all have none or very few named characters.
- Narrative Poem: Most poems in Gypsy Ballads tell some kind of a story, which is typical for the genre of Spanish romance that inspired the book.
- Also some poems in Book of Poems, for example "The Encounters of an Adventurous Snail".
- Near-Rape Experience: In "Preciosa and Wind", the sentient wind attempts to rape the Romani woman Preciosa, but she manages to run away from him.
- Offing the Offspring: The short play Buster Keaton Takes a Walk starts with Buster Keaton killing his four children.
- Old Maid: Three spinsters in Doña Rosita the Spinster. The titular character also becomes one by the end of the play.
- The woman described in the poem “Elegy” from Book of Poems is one as well.
- Pajama-Clad Hero: Young Man in Once Five Years Pass spends the first act of the play dressed in blue pajamas.
- Previously Overlooked Paramour: After his Fiancée leaves him, Young Man in Once Five Years Pass decides to try his luck with Typist who had previously been in love with him.
- Protagonist Title: Christ, Mariana Pineda, The Shoemaker's Prodigious Wife and Yerma.
- Romani: He tended to use them a lot in his early works, but discarded them after being pigeon-holed as a “Gypsy poet”.
- Runaway Bride: In Blood Wedding, the bride runs away after she marries with another man. Both the groom and her lover die later.
- Solar and Lunar: "Two Norms", a pair of related poems about heterosexual and homosexual love, are subtitled "Under the Sun" and "Under the Moon", respectively. This sets the tone for each poem.
- Spiritual Successor: Blood Wedding had Yerma and The House of Bernarda Alba.
- The Puppet Play of Don Cristóbal is this for The Billy-Club Puppets. Both are written for puppet theatre and both deal with Don Cristóbal, sort of Punch character, and his marriage to Rosita.
- Sweet Polly Oliver: When the Prince in the short puppet comedy The Girl Who Waters Basil and the Very Inquisitive Prince falls ill with love-induced melancholy, the Mage who claims that he knows how to heal him arrives to his court. This Mage is actually Irene, the eponymous Girl Who Waters Basil and Prince's love interest.
- Talking Animal: Dead Cat in Once Five Years Pass. It's certainly not even the weirdest thing to happen in this play.
- The Tragic Rose: Rosa mutabilis in Doña Rosita the Spinster. Pink in the morning, it becomes red by the day, whitens in the evening and withers by night. It symbolises the main character, with its life stages paralling the course of her life: youthful romanticism, maturation into a passionate woman and sad life of a spinster after her romantic disillusionment.
- Travelogue Show: Impressions and Ladscapes, his first published book, was about his trips around the towns of Spain.
- The Trope without a Title: The Play Without a Title.
- Undead Child: Dead Boy in Once Five Years Pass.
- Unrequited Love Switcheroo: Happens between Young Man and Typist in Once Five Years Pass, in a way. At first Typist's love only annoys him, but after being rejected by his Fiancée, Young Man changes his mind, finds his (by that time) ex-Typist and desperatly declares his love towards her. While she still carries the torch for him, it seems that now she is more content with just loving him than with actually being with him. She promises to reciprocate "once five years pass".
- Unrequited Tragic Maiden: Esther in Christ. The Old Woman even predicts that her love will bring her nothing but suffering.
- What Could Have Been:
- He had in mind a “trilogy of the Spanish earth”, but only did the first two (Blood Wedding and Yerma) before he died.
- His plans included such daring projects as The Blood Has No Voice, a play about "a case of incest", The Beautiful Beast, a story about a young man who fell in love with his horse, and a biblical drama The Destruction of Sodom. None of these even came close to finished and either they weren't written down at all or had only few pages written as first drafts.