La dama boba/Lady Nitwit is an excellent character study of a female scatterbrain made wise in the ways of the world through the power of love. The plot moves rapidly from one delightfully comic situation to another, evoking the contradictions encountered in the course of love, as witnessed in the following scene between the heroine and her would-be lover: Laurencio: ... Just look at the trouble that's come on the heels of your transformation since ... oh, what a plight ... since Liseo has now gone to ask for your hand again. He's abandoned your sister and is going now to marry you and I am going to die Would to God you'd never learned to speak.
Finea: Laurencio, how am I at fault? I learned all I know inspired by your virtues. Conquered by your compliments, I learned to talk in order to talk to you. I read books, the better to read your letters; I write in order to answer them. Love has been my teacher, love has made me learn, and you are the science I have mastered. What displeases you in this?
The dialogue sparkles with humor and repartee. The theme is universal in its appeal, and the treatment given it by Lope has the ring of modernity that makes this play one of the best comedies in his repertory. This edition features a prose translation of the original seventeenth-century play in facing-page format.
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