Renæssanceforum 13 • 2018

Sacramento Roselló-Martínez
History Directed: Cultural Memory and Messianism in Lope de Vega's El último godo*

close window

Lope de Vega's El último godo stages the legend of the 8th century invasion of Gothic Spain by Muslim armies. The play follows a messianic structure where the lascivious gothic king, Don Rodrigo, is a condition of possibility for the coming of the chaste initiator of the re-conquest, Pelayo. This binarism present in other versions of the legend, situates the play within a chain of texts creating a cultural memory of the Reconquista. This article problematizes both messianism and cultural memory as recognizable structures in the staging of historical plays. In doing so, it also defines spectatorship as a political collective proposing a critique of Spanish historian Antonio Maravall's theory of Spanish Golden Age as a directed culture.