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Theatre / Mariana Pineda

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Mariana Pineda is a play by the Spanish plaiwright Federico García Lorca about the Spanish national heroine Mariana de Pineda y Muñoz (1804-1831) who was executed for helping a liberal rebel to escape from prison and embroidering slogan 'Equality, Freedom and Law' on a flag. The play takes place during the Ominous Decade, a reactionary period of the restoration of absolutism in Spain. Written between 1923 and 1925 and performed in 1927 with scenic design and costumes by Salvador Dalí and Margarita Xirgu in the role of Mariana, the play was the first Lorca's theatre work that was a success.

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The events surrounding the staging of Mariana Pineda are shown in Osvaldo Golijov's opera Ainadamar about Margarita Xirgu and Federico García Lorca.


Mariana Pineda contains examples of:

  • Downer Ending: The play ends with Mariana waiting to be executed, and as we know from the history, she will be.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: Amparo and Lucia, Fernando's sisters and Mariana's friends, are that. Amparo's lively behaviour and less-than-stellar manners visibly exasperate her sister Lucia.
  • Foreshadowing: Mariana's neck is often mentioned in the play by various characters, foreshadowing her future execution by garrote.
  • Genki Girl: Amparo, talkative, playful and affectionate young woman.
  • Hair-Contrast Duo: Amparo and Lucia are a brunette and a blonde.
  • The Hero Dies: Mariana will end up executed, just like she did in real life.
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  • Historical Domain Character: Mariana Pineda was a real person.
  • Hopeless Suitor: Fernando had been in love with Mariana since the childhood, so much that he agrees to help Pedro despite hating him; she, however, can't return his feelings because she's in love with Pedro.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Fernando keeps his promise to help Pedro to hide from authorities even after he learns that Pedro is Mariana's lover, because he doesn't want to see her suffer.
  • Love Dodecahedron: Fernando, Pedrosa and perhaps Amparo are all in love with Mariana, who has eyes only for Pedro; 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.
  • Precocious Crush: Fernando, who is eighteen, had been in love with Mariana, who is in her thirties, since he was a child, making the beginnings of his love this trope.
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  • Protagonist Title
  • La Résistance: Mariana and Pedro are a part of the organized liberal movement fighting against the absolutist monarchy.
  • Scarpia Ultimatum: After Mariana's embroidered flag is found by the police, judge Pedrosa offers to save her if she becomes his lover.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Amparo and Lucia have very different personalities and looks.
  • Stay in the Kitchen: Mariana's adoptive mother Angustias isn't happy that Mariana participates in politics and says that "whether the king is bad or good" shouldn't be women's concern.
  • Textile Work Is Feminine: Mariana embroidering a liberal slogan on a flag is an important plot point; through the play, several mentions are also made of her sewing skills.
    • Averted in the conversation between Mariana and Pedrosa, where Pedrosa mentions that embroidering is the hobby of the Spanish king.
  • Those Two Guys: Two novice nuns in the third act who do little else but discuss Mariana.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Loud, energetic Amparo who loves watching bullfights and her serious Proper Lady sister Lucia who prefers hobbies like reading novels and embroidering.
  • Villainous Crush: Pedrosa is clearly smitten with Mariana. This attraction informs all their interactions, with various degrees of subtlety.
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