Queens College Archives and Special Collections

Major Playwrights

Lope de Vega Carpio                 1562-1635

Spain’s most important and prolific dramatist, with around 2000 plays to his name. Well-respected by contemporaries such as Cervantes and Goethe, he played a major role in defining the “Golden Age” of Spanish theater. He invented the 3 act tragicomedy called comedia and installed it as its dominant form.

Pedro Calderón de la Barca         1600-1681

This major dramatist of the “Golden Age” began the second cycle of that era, refining the forms as established by Lope de Vega. He produced plays on both religious and secular themes, and is known for perfecting the allegorical form called the auto sacramental.

Juan Pérez de Montalván          1602-1638

A Catholic priest as well as an artist, he enjoyed strong if ephemeral success. The degree and brevity of his popularity can be attributed to the fact that he strictly followed the conventions of Lope de Vega, whom he also wrote a biography of.

José de Cañizares                     1676-1750

A later playwright of the Calderón school. Like Lope de Vega, whose comedia genre he inherited, he was prolific and commercially successful. His plays were especially popular in Madrid.