The house of Bernarda Alba

Authors Avatar

The house of Bernarda Alba

Along with Blood Wedding and Yerma, The house of Bernarda Alba, forms a trilogy expressing what Federico Garcia Lorca saw as the tragic life of Spanish women. Adapted for the stage by David Hare- who has been writing for the national theatre since 1975- this story is set in rural Spain at the turn of this century. The characters, all women, exist in a claustrophobic household managed by a newly widowed mother of five daughters. The title character tyrannises her daughters by enforcing an eight-year mourning period so as to protect the reputation of the family.  As the story progresses we find out that the only way out that they have is to marry, if they can find someone who Bernarda sees as worthy. When the eldest daughter is engaged to be married to most attractive man for miles, Pepe al Romano, tensions flare up among the sisters as each of them unleashes their feelings.

Join now!

        I think the play comments very effectively on the pressures of convention, the imprisoning effect of mourning customs and the frustration of female sexuality. It brings to question a lot of issues such as what happens when authority becomes tyranny? And what happens when male-female relationships are seen in terms of power and advantage?

        The set of the play, shown in the Lyttelton Theatre, was amazing. It gave the very feel of a wealthy house in a Spanish village, by use of sharp lighting and wooden flooring. There was a sense of vast humidity because of this and sitting as ...

This is a preview of the whole essay