Tirso de Molina (tērˈsō dā mōlēˈnä) [key], pseud. of Fray Gabriel Téllez gäbrēĕlˈ tĕlˈyĕth, 1584?–1648, outstanding dramatist of the Spanish Golden Age, b. Madrid. His fame rests on El burlador de Sevilla (1630; tr. The Love Rogue, 1924), the earliest known literary version of the Don Juan legend. Among the 300 or 400 plays by Tirso de Molina are El vergonzoso en palacio [the bashful man at the palace], La prudencia en la mujer [prudence in a woman], El condenado por desconfiado (tr. The Saint and the Sinner, 1954), Marta la piadosa [pious Martha], and El castigo del pensé que (tr. by James Shirley as The Opportunity, 1640). He also wrote short novels, included in his prose collection Los cigarrales de Toledo (1621). He joined the Mercedarian monks in 1601 and wrote a history of the order (1637–39). His dramas, influenced by Lope de Vega, excel in wit and sympathetic characterization.
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