Authors: José Zorrilla y Moral

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

Spanish playwright and poet

Author Works


Juan Dándolo, pb. 1830 (with Antonio García Gutiérrez)

Vivir loco y morir más, pb. 1837

Más vale llegar a tiempo que rondar un año, pb. 1839

Cada cual con su razón, pr. 1839

Ganar perdiendo, pb. 1839 (adaptation of Lope de Vega Carpio’s play La noche de San Juan)

Lealtad de una mujer: O, Aventuras de una noche, pr., pb. 1840

El zapatero y el rey, pr., pb. 1840 (part 1)

Apoteosis de don Pedro Calderón de la Barca, pb. 1840 (verse drama)

El zapatero y el rey, pr., pb. 1842 (part 2)

El eco del torrente, pr., pb. 1842

Los dos virreyes, pr., pb. 1842 (adaptation of Pietro Angelo Fiorentino’s novel El virrey de Nápoles)

Un año y un día, pr., pb. 1842

Sancho García, pr., pb. 1842

El caballo del rey don Sancho, pr., pb. 1843

El puñal del godo, pr., pb. 1843 (Dagger of the Goth, 1929)

Sofronia, pr., pb. 1843

La mejor razón, la espada, pb. 1843 (adaptation of Augustín Moreto y Cabaña’s play Las travesuras de Pantoja)

El molino de Guadalajara, pr., pb. 1843

La oliva y el laurel, pr., pb. 1843

Don Juan Tenorio, pr., pb. 1844 (English translation, 1944)

La copa de marfil, pr., pb. 1844

El alcalde Ronquillo: O, El diablo en Valladolid, pr., pb. 1845

El rey loco, pr., pb. 1847

La reina y los favoritos, pr., pb. 1847

La calentura, pr., pb. 1847 (part 2 of El Puñal del godo)

El excomulgado, pr., pb. 1848

Traidor, inconfeso y mártir, pr., pb. 1849

El cuento de las flores, pr., pb. 1864

El encapuchado, pr. 1866

Pilatos, pr., pb. 1877

Don Juan Tenorio, pr. 1877 (operatic version; music by Nicolás Manent)


Poesías de don José Zorrilla, 1837-1839 (6 volumes)

Cantos del trovador, 1840-1841 (3 volumes)

Vigilias del estío, 1842

Flores perdidas, 1843

Recuerdos y fantasías, 1844

La azucena silvestre, 1845

El desafío del diablo, 1845

Un testigo de bronce, 1845

María, 1850

Un cuento de amores, 1850 (with José Heriberto García de Quevedo)

Granada, 1852 (2 volumes)

Al-Hamar, el Nazarita, rey de Granada, 1853

La flor de los recuerdos, 1855-1859 (2 volumes)

El drama del alma, 1867

La leyenda del Cid, 1882

¡Granada mía!, 1885

Gnomos y mujeres, 1886

El cantar del romero, 1886

¡A escape y al vuelo!, 1888

De Murcia al cielo, 1888

Mi última breca, 1888


Recuerdos del tiempo viejo, 1880-1883 (3 volumes)


Obras de Don José Zorrilla, 1847

Obras completas, 1943 (2 volumes)


José Zorrilla y Moral (zawr-REE-yah ee moh-RAHL) is representative of Spanish Romanticism not only in his writing but in his life. As a young man he was, despite parental opposition, lured from the study of law by his love for poetry. His marriage to a woman of whom his father disapproved widened the breach, and as a bohemian, he frequently lived in poverty. He was able, however, to visit France in 1846 to meet the leading poets of Paris and later to travel to Mexico at the request of Emperor Maximilian to direct the National Theater. He lived in Mexico from 1855 until 1866.{$I[AN]9810000372}{$I[A]Zorrilla y Moral, José}{$S[A]Moral, José Zorrilla y;Zorrilla y Moral, José}{$I[geo]SPAIN;Zorrilla y Moral, José}{$I[tim]1817;Zorrilla y Moral, José}

He became famous in 1837, when as a gaunt youth he leaped into the grave of the suicide Mariano José de Larra, a poet and journalist who wrote under the name Figaro, and read emotional verses about the loneliness of a poet and the sacredness of his mission. This act initiated fifty years of literary production. He became a member of the Royal Academy in 1848. His lyrical and dramatic poetry was characterized by themes of mystery, melancholy, and religion against a background of wild nature. Old legends provided him with themes, and he wrapped himself in the splendor of his country’s past.

Zorrilla was also the author of about twenty original dramas, all written with speed and facility and many patterned on the cloak-and-sword dramas of the Golden Age. His mastery of many verse forms established him as one of Spain’s leading poets, and in 1881, appropriately in Granada, he was proclaimed poet laureate of Spain. Don Juan Tenorio brought him his highest fame, though he called it “the greatest nonsense ever written.” In spite of its exaggerations, melodramatic improbability, and technical flaws, the drama expresses the spirit of Spanish Romanticism and is performed throughout the Spanish-speaking world on the first of November for the Day of the Dead. A good performance of it is an artistic delight. Many like to believe that the play dramatizes fundamental eternal truths and that the characters personify the inner duality of the earthy and spiritual elements inherent in human nature. Zorilla’s Don Juan, the archetypal Romantic hero, is saved by the pure love of his Inés.

BibliographyArias, Judith H. “The Devil at Heaven’s Door: Metaphysical Desire in Don Juan Tenorio.” Hispanic Review 61, no. 1 (Winter, 1993): 15. A discussion of the boundary between the real and the fictional in Don Juan Tenorio.Cardwell, Richard A., and Ricardo Landeira, eds. José de Zorrilla: Centennial Readings. Nottingham, England: University of Nottingham, 1993. These essays honoring the one-hundred-year anniversary of Zorrilla y Moral’s death discuss his life and works. Includes bibliographical references.Schurlknight, Donald E. Spanish Romanticism in Context: Of Subversion, Contradiction, and Politics: Espronceda, Larra, Rivas, Zorrilla. Lanham, Md.: University Press of America, 1998. A study of the role of politics in Spanish Romanticism that examines the works of Zorrilla y Moral, José de Espronceda, Mariano José de Larra, and Angel de Saavedra (Rivas). Includes bibliography and index.Ter Horst, Robert. “Epic Descent: The Filiations of Don Juan.” MLN 111, no. 2 (March, 1996): 255. The author compares and contrasts Zorrilla y Moral’s Don Juan Tenorio with Tirso de Molina’s El burlador de Sevilla (1630).
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