What is the date of the writing of “The Dog in the Manger”?

Introduction: The Dog in the Manger

"The Dog in the Manger" is a phrase commonly used to describe someone who selfishly prevents others from enjoying something that they themselves cannot have or do not want. The origin of this phrase can be traced back to a fable from ancient Greece. However, the most famous literary work that features the phrase is a play written by Spanish playwright Lope de Vega in the 17th century.

Origin of the Phrase

The fable of "The Dog in the Manger" tells the story of a dog who lay in a manger full of hay, preventing the hungry oxen from eating it. The phrase "dog in the manger" became a common expression in English to describe someone who selfishly hoards something that they do not need or use. The phrase gained wider recognition after Lope de Vega’s play, which popularized the phrase in Spanish literature.

Lope de Vega’s Play

Lope de Vega’s play "El perro del hortelano" (The Dog in the Manger) was written in the early 17th century and is considered one of his most famous works. The play is a comedy of manners that tells the story of Diana, a countess who falls in love with her secretary, Teodoro. However, Diana’s jealousy and pride prevent her from confessing her love to Teodoro and from allowing him to marry anyone else.

Historical Context of the Play

Lope de Vega’s play was written during the Spanish Golden Age, a period of great artistic and literary flourishing in Spain. The play reflects the social and cultural values of the time, such as the importance of honor, class distinctions, and the role of women in society. The play also reflects the influence of Italian Renaissance theater, which Lope de Vega had studied and adapted to Spanish theater.

Publication of the Play

"The Dog in the Manger" was first published in 1618, as part of Lope de Vega’s collection of plays titled "Parte XVI." The play was well received by audiences and became one of Lope de Vega’s most popular works. It was staged frequently during the 17th century and has since been adapted and translated into many languages.

Reception of the Play

The play was well received by audiences and critics alike. Its witty dialogue, complex characters, and intricate plot made it a favorite of Spanish theatergoers. The play also received praise for its exploration of themes such as love, jealousy, and gender roles. However, some critics found fault with the play’s ending, which they felt was too abrupt and unsatisfying.

Translations of the Play

"The Dog in the Manger" has been translated into many languages, including English, French, German, and Italian. The play’s popularity and accessibility have made it a favorite of theater companies and audiences around the world. However, some translations have been criticized for not capturing the nuances of Lope de Vega’s original Spanish text.

Adaptations of the Play

"The Dog in the Manger" has been adapted into many different forms, including operas, ballets, and films. These adaptations have often taken creative liberties with the original text, adding or omitting characters and altering the plot. However, the play’s central themes and characters have remained a constant presence in these adaptations.

Literary Analysis of the Play

"The Dog in the Manger" is often analyzed as a comedy of manners, a genre that focuses on the social behavior and customs of a particular time and place. The play explores themes such as love, jealousy, and gender roles, and uses witty dialogue and complex characters to satirize the social conventions of Spanish society. The play has also been interpreted as a commentary on the role of women in society, as well as a critique of class distinctions.

Authorship of the Play

While Lope de Vega is credited as the author of "The Dog in the Manger," there is some controversy over the extent of his involvement in the play’s creation. Some scholars believe that the play was actually written by a group of writers working under Lope de Vega’s supervision, while others argue that Lope de Vega did indeed write the play himself.

Date of the Writing of the Play

The exact date of the writing of "The Dog in the Manger" is not known, but it is believed to have been written sometime in the early 17th century, possibly around 1613 or 1614. This was a time of great productivity for Lope de Vega, who was writing plays at a rapid pace and was one of the most prolific playwrights of his time.

Conclusion: Importance of the Play

"The Dog in the Manger" is a classic work of Spanish theater that has had a significant impact on literature and culture. Its exploration of themes such as love, jealousy, and gender roles, as well as its witty dialogue and complex characters, have made it a favorite of audiences and scholars alike. The play’s enduring popularity and influence are a testament to Lope de Vega’s skill as a playwright and to the enduring appeal of his work.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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