La Cueva, Juan De
LA CUEVA, JUAN DE (15507-1609?), Spanish dramatist and poet, was born at Seville, and towards 1579 began writing for the stage. His plays, fourteen in number, were published in 1588, and are the earliest manifestations of the dramatic methods developed by Lope de Vega. Abandoning the Senecan model hitherto universal in Spain, Cueva took for his themes matters of national legend, historic tradition, recent victories and the actualities of contemporary life: this amalgam of epical and realistic elements, and the introduction of a great variety of metres, prepared the way for the Spanish romantic drama of the 1 7 th century. A peculiar interest attaches to El Infamador, a play in which the character of Leucino anticipates the classic type of Don Juan. As an initiative force, Cueva is a figure of great historical importance; his epic poem, La Conquista de Betica (1603), shows his weakness as an artist. The last work to which his name is attached is the Ejemplar poitico (1609), and he is believed to have died shortly after its publication.
See the editions of Saco de Roma and El Infamador, by E. de Ochoa, in the Tesoro del teatro espanol (Paris, 1838), vol. i. pp. 251-285; and of Ejemplar politico, by I. J. Lopez de Sedano, in the Parnaso espanol, vol. viii. pp. 1-68; also E. Walberg, " Juan de la Cueva et son Ejemplar poeticc " in the Ada Universitatis Lundensis (Lund, 1904), vol. xxix. ; " Poemes inedits de Juan de la Cueva (Viaje de Sannio,) " edited by F. A. Wulff, in the Ada Universitatis Lundensis (Lund, 1886-1887), vol. xxiii.; F. A. Wulff, " De la rimas de Juan de la Cueva, Primera Parte " in the Homenaje a Mentndez y Pelayo (Madrid, 1899), vol. ii. pp. 143-148. (J. F.-K.)
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)