Tirso de Molina enjoys enduring popularity as a writer of irreverent comedies, though his critical reputation as a major dramatist rests largely on his more serious works.
Don Gil of the Green Breeches as befits a high farce is much concerned with disguise, mistaken identity, role-reversal, ghosts, and trousers! Dona Juana, jilted by her lover Don Martin, follows him to Madrid, where, under the assumed name of Don Gil, he is courting the wealthy Dona Ines. Dressed as a man in a distinctive pair of green breeches, Dona Juana also masquerades as Don Gil. Don Martin is outwitted by his transvestite rival, who wrecks his schemes like a maleficent will-'o-the-wisp before leading him, shell-shocked, to the altar!
In his lively, accurate and fluent line-by-line verse translation of this play Gordon Minter admirably conveys the unique flavour of Tirso's sparkling wit. Additionally, in his stimulating Introduction and Commentary he argues that this effervescent drama deliberately subverts the Don Juan legend to show that the Trickster of Seville's female counterpart can be just as resourceful and predatory when the restoration of her honour is at stake. The further revelation that Don of the Green Breeches has unobtrusively and unnoticed contributed an important strand to subsequent European versions of the Don Juan legend completes a scholarly reappraisal of the significance of a work too often regarded as little more than a highly amusing dramatic confection.
210 × 149 mm
January 1, 1991