First published:La verdad sospechosa, 1630 (English translation, 1927)
Type of work: Play
Type of plot: Comedy
Time of work: Seventeenth century
Characters DiscussedDon García
Don Truth Suspected, TheGarcía (gahr-SEE-ah), a young noble. A congenital liar, he is himself faced by a confusion of facts as he woos the veiled Jacinta, thinking that her name is Lucrecia. The lies that he tells during the courtship constantly involve him in difficulty. Enraged by his lies, Don Beltrán arranges for his son’s marriage to Jacinta, but Don García invents a wife in Salamanca to avoid marrying Jacinta, little realizing that she is the girl he is wooing. His lie is discovered too late, and a rival marries Jacinta. Don García must be content with Lucrecia.
Juan de Sosa
Juan de Sosa (hwahn deh SOH-sah), who is in love with Jacinta. Rejected by her uncle until he attains knighthood, Juan must stand by while Don García courts his lady. Juan challenges Don García to a duel because of one of his lies and later reveals that his rival has lied about the supposed wife in Salamanca. Finally, Juan becomes a knight and marries Jacinta, much to Don García’s chagrin.
Don Beltrán (behl-TRAHN), Don García’s father, who despises lying.
Tristán (trees-TAHN), Don García’s shrewd and cynical servant, who gives his master lectures about lying peppered with quotations from Roman and Greek authorities.
Jacinta (hah-SEEN-tah), the niece of Don Sancho, thought by Don García to be Lucrecia.
Lucrecia (lew-KREH-see-ah), her friend, who later marries Don García.
Don Sancho (SAHN-choh), Jacinta’s uncle, who forbids her to marry Juan de Sosa until that young man attains knighthood.
BibliographyBrenan, Gerald. The Literature of the Spanish People. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 1965. Chapter 9 establishes the importance of Lope de Vega in the development of the new comedy and discloses Alarcón’s contribution to the new comedy.Claydon, Ellen. Juan Ruiz de Alarcón, Baroque Dramatist. Chapel Hill, N.C.: Department of Romance Languages, University of North Carolina, 1970. Defines the comedia in terms of the baroque tendencies. Discusses the importance of The Truth Suspected in literary history.Poesse, Walter. Juan Ruiz de Alarcón. New York: Twayne, 1972. Gives the English-speaking reader information about Alarcón’s life and works and evaluates the technique the author used in composing his plays. Shows the marked difference between Alarcón’s plays and those of his contemporaries.Rennert, Hugo A. The Spanish Stage in the Time of Lope de Vega. Mineola, N.Y.: Dover, 1963. Explains the theatrical devices behind the comedia. A thorough discussion of the theater in Alarcón’s era.Wilson, Margaret. Spanish Drama of the Golden Age. New York: Pergamon Press, 1969. Traces the history of the Spanish theater to the Golden Age of the seventeenth century. Contains a superb explanation of the characteristics of the Spanish comedia and discusses Alarcón’s contribution to the Spanish theater.