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Gaspar Aguilar, La comedia segunda de los agravios perdonados.

Santa Barbara: Publications of eHumanista, 2016.
Bélen Almeida
p. 181-182
Bibliographical reference

Gaspar Aguilar. La comedia segunda de Los agravios perdonados, edited by C. George Peale. Santa Barbara: Publications of eHumanista, 2016. 128 p.

Full text

La comedia segunda de los agravios perdonados, which just appeared in a series of monographs of the journal eHumanista in an edition of C. George Peale, is a little-known Spanish comedy from the 16th-17th century. The edition is part of the efforts of Peale to edit the works of Vélez de Guevara, to whom Los agravios perdonados was traditionally attributed — yet the comedy appears in the edition, and for the first time, not under the name of that author, but under the name of Gaspar Aguilar.

The edition is based on the only known manuscript witness, ms. 15067 of the Biblioteca Nacional de España. As the title of the work makes clear (“comedia segunda”), there would have been a previous comedy of the same title, which is now lost but attributed to Luis Vélez de Guevara in the manuscript of this “second comedy”.

1In a study preceding the work, Peale offers a practical summary of the convoluted plot (pp. 1-4) of the text: a classical palatine comedy with characters from the nobility and with a (pseudo)historical and international setting, in this case Scotland, England, and France. The editor also explains in the study the editorial principles for the presentation of the text (pp. 24-25), which are — generally speaking — the usual in scholarly editions of literary works of the Spanish Golden Age: regularization or modernization of b/u/v; c/ç/z; i/j/y for /i/; ph > f; th > t; ch /k/ > c/qu, modern accentuation and punctuation.

2The lengthiest and most interesting part of the study (pp. 4-24) offers the motives the editor has to suppose that the work is not by Vélez de Guevara, as was until now assumed. The reasons that led Peale to ascribe the comedy to another writer, the Valencian Gaspar Aguilar (1561-1623), are many, ranging from thematic and compositional aspects (for example, the fact that the comedy opens with a loa, as is the case with most of Aguilar's works, and the vagueness of the setting, very untypical for Vélez de Guevara), motives (scenes of physical violence against women as found in the comedy would be, he postulates, impossible in a work by Vélez de Guevara) and, most convincing, the verse. Peale expounds at length the characteristics of versification in Los agravios perdonados, comparing it with Vélez de Guevara’s works, on one side, and on the other with Aguilar’s comedies. The result convinces the reader that Peale is right in his assumption that the work stems from the pen of Aguilar: the use of quintilla (five-verse strophe which rhymes ababa, abbab, abaab or aabba) represents an astonishing 95% of the verses of the comedy, as is characteristic for Valencian dramatists (Aguilar was Valencian), whereas Vélez de Guevara uses this strophe much more seldom (on an average, 5-30%).

3The text is accompanied by a generous supply of footnotes on lexical, morphological, historical, metrical, and socio-linguistical issues, making the text easy to follow even for readers that are not well-versed in Spanish Golden Age literature. At the end, the editor has included a practical Index of the words explained in the footnotes.

4One welcome feature of the edition is the fact that the text is available on line. Some minor typos or mistakes in font are found, but they are not many and do not distract from an excellent edition.

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Bibliographical reference

Bélen Almeida, “Gaspar Aguilar, La comedia segunda de los agravios perdonados.”Variants, 14 | -1, 181-182.

Electronic reference

Bélen Almeida, “Gaspar Aguilar, La comedia segunda de los agravios perdonados.”Variants [Online], 14 | 2019, Online since 10 July 2019, connection on 07 December 2023. URL:; DOI:

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About the author

Bélen Almeida

Belén Almeida is a professor in the Department of Philology, Communication and Documentation at the Universidad de Alcalá (Spain). She is a member of the research group GITHE (Textos para la historia del español, Texts for the History of the Spanish Language). Her main areas of interest are Spanish historiography of the Middle Ages and (ortho)graphic aspects of hand written documents from the beginnings of written Spanish until the end of the 19th century, specially those written by less-able writers and by women.

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The text only may be used under licence CC BY 4.0. All other elements (illustrations, imported files) are “All rights reserved”, unless otherwise stated.

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