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An exploration of the symbolic significance of the horse in Federico Garcia Lorca(TM)s Blood Wedding

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Introduction

An exploration of the symbolic significance of the horse in Federico Garcia Lorca's Blood Wedding Each of the characters in Lorca's Blood Wedding is given a social role with the exception of Leonardo who is differentiated by having a name which blatantly represents the physical attributes of the character. Each of Lorca's characters could be said to represent some aspect of his own feelings or thoughts. Rural life in early 20th century Andalusia was harsh and traditional with considerable importance placed on fertility, especially the potent masculinity dramatically represented in a heightened form through Leonardo. The relationship between the Horse, which is so much associated with its master, and Leonardo could be seen as one between the dominant man and the submissive animal or it could be viewed as a partnership in which Leonardo is being led blindly with the horse as a force leading him to destruction, just as Lorca himself could be seen to be driven by his own homosexuality which roused considerable controversy in 1930s rural Andalusia. ...read more.

Middle

However, Leonardo seems naively unaware that it is the horse which makes other characters suspicious of his absences from home so it could be suggested that Lorca uses the horse as the means to lead to Leonardo's eventual revelation. This is particularly important because, initially the audience see the horse as subservient to Leonardo but it could be said that the Horse symbolises the vulnerability of Leonardo to his own emotions and natural instincts. The Horse is also mentioned in a particularly passionate dialogue, for example 'but no sound of the horse. Now he'll be loving her4'�, which not only emphasises Leonardo's sensuality but also the reference to '...Horsey's throat is hot and parched...[but] wouldn't drink the water deep...'5�, symbolises Leonardo's 'thirst' for the Bride which seems impossible to satisfy. As Lorca himself was subjected to a similar form of suppression, being a homosexual in early 20th century Spain, where he could not experience what he truly felt, this is one example where Lorca has transpired his suffering through the play to the audience, as many in the audience would have a sense of sympathy towards Leonardo as he fights for what he believes in. ...read more.

Conclusion

Many critics believe Lorca is at his best when his language becomes more consciously poetic and this often occurs when he is portraying the Horse particularly in the Lullaby, which introduces the Horse through such dialogue as '...Even though his mouth is hot,/Streaming tiny drops of sweat.'9��.Once again the Horse is invested with an almost supernatural quality as a force which leads Leonardo, without wavering, to fulfil his destiny. For me the Horse gave the play structural coherence connecting all the characters even before the audience are aware of its significance and preparing them, subliminally for the future events of the play. To conclude, the Horse has been proved to exert a strong dramatic force with implicit symbolic connections to traditional Spain of the early 20th century, connoting masculinity, fertility and fate. The more obvious dramatic devices used by Lorca, such as the personification of Death as a Beggar Woman and the role of the Three Woodcutters, often attract more critical attention but the Horse seemed to me to be a forgotten piece of the structural puzzle which needed to be found in order to achieve a fuller understanding of Lorca's motives and aims in writing this play. ...read more.

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