The Great Semiramis

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ISBN hardcover: 9788490075197 ISBN paperback: 9788496428539

SKU: 9788498976489 Category: Tags: , ,

The Great Semiramis (La gran Semíramis) by Cristóbal de Virués is a play that delves deeply into human passions, conflict, and moral dilemmas, all set against a backdrop of tragedy and epic. Premiered in Valencia at the end of the 16th century, the play is a standout example of Spanish Renaissance theater, and particularly of the tradition of tragedies that explore the darker and more complex aspects of the human condition.
From the outset, the play enters emotionally intense territory. The opening scene introduces us to Menón, a warrior in the midst of battle, torn between his duty on the battlefield and his passionate love for Semiramis. This emotional and moral dilemma, which pits glory and duty against love and devotion, forms the emotional core of the play and sets the tone for the conflicts that will follow.
The Great Semiramis is notable for its use of poetic and florid language that serves to elevate the emotions and conflicts to an almost mythical level. The images of the “fierce sound of fearful assault” and the “eternal starry roofs” provide a visual and conceptual richness that enhances the scene and underscores the importance of the unfolding events.
Semiramis, for her part, is a fascinating figure in this drama. She is not merely an object of desire for Menón; she is a woman with strong emotions and desires of her own. Her dialogue with Menón is a kind of emotional competition, where both characters strive to outdo each other in declarations of love and devotion. This adds a layer of complexity to the play, demonstrating that women also have agency and deep emotions in this dramatic world.
A notable aspect of the play is its use of classic theatrical resources, such as the use of a chorus. This element adds a layer of reflection and commentary on the events on stage and connects individual emotions with more universal themes, such as destiny, morality, and the human condition.
The Great Semiramis is an intensely emotional and complex work that delves into the darkest recesses of the human soul. Through rich characters and poetic language, Virués creates a world where human passions confront moral and ethical dilemmas, all framed within a context of tragedy and destiny. The play is not only entertaining but also serves as a profound exploration of the emotional and moral conflicts that define the human experience.

Day one

(Menon, Zopiro man, in habit in Semiramis).

Menon: The fierce sound of the fearful assault,
that ignites and freezes human breasts,
soaring through the air to the top
of the eternal starry ceilings,
when, with a loving start,
amidst the weapons and equipment
they gave me, my sweetest darling,
news of your sudden coming.
The open wall was already bursting,
eyes on glory and fame;
but knowing you’ve arrived, I swear
that brought me flying to you my flame
and, although the honor coming to me ventures,
will see who will judge me, if I am infamous,
that it is more important to enjoy you, my darling,
that how much glory the ground can give me.
Semiramis dear, is it true, is it true, is it true
that you came to see the one who adores you;
to the one who is without you an almost dead body
that eternally moans, grieves and cries?

Semiramis: Beloved husband, joyful and sweet harbor
of my desires, if it were to come now
to be universal queen of the world,
to the good of seeing you out second.

Menon: Such was the pain of seeing me absent
of you, who are my good, my joy and glory;
the blazing fire was so great that it
of my sweet desires the memory,
that had no doubt the inclement
death already of my life the vitoria,
if I didn’t expect to see myself in those eyes,
that turn my angers into glories.
Not the dangers of angry war
nor their cruel and furious trances,
not to see the fragile life adventurously
in the brave and fearful encounters,
not the sight of Fortune the angry one
face, with a thousand rigorous scorns,
the goshawks will dent my chest,
but only to stop, my good, to see you.
And not vitorias that war offers,
nor prosperous events and greatness;
nor see my, last name and first name grow
with remarkable feats and exploits;
nor to see Fortune enrich me
with its greatest assets and wealth,
will give contentment to this soul that adores you,
but only to enjoy you, madam.

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Rústica tipográfica148 mm210 mm
Rústica ilustrada149 mm210 mm
Tapa dura152 mm228 mm