The inner reality in the dramatic works of Benavente
Sheehan, Robert L.-
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An investigation of critics representing each of the six decades during which Benavente wrote his plays reveals a fundamental dichotomy of opinion regarding the dramatist's attitude toward human existence. One group, including Pio Baroja, Manuel Bueno, Perez de Ayala, Diaz Plaja and others, maintains that Benavente demonstrates a generally consistent pessimistic and cynical view of man and society. Some among this group believe that this attitude emanates from a materialistic, amoral and even atheistic philosophy on the part of Benavente. The other group of critics, including Gonzalez Blanco, Onis, Lazaro, Valbuena Prat and others, believe that despite an initial pessimism and cynicism, Benavente gradually develops an interest in the inner world of human existence, and moves toward a more idealistic view. The present study establishes and defines the existence of the two opposing schools of Benavente criticism referred to above, and attempts to reconcile them. Our own study, based on an investigation of the complete dramatic and non-dramatic works of Benavente, reveals that the dramatist has a two-fold view of the human condition: 1) "External Reality", or man's environment, presents him with an essentially tragic existence which man cannot alter. 2) "Inner Reality", or man's spiritual and imaginative resources provide him with the means to find refuge, consolation or escape from the tragedy of his environment. [TRUNCATED]
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Boston University.