Comedies and entractes

"Comedias y entremeses de Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra" Madrid, 1749. Imprenta de Antonio Marin

Between 1580 and 1587 Miguel de Cervantes wrote more than twenty or thirty comedies, which had some success in their productions. On March 5 1585, the same year that La Galatea was published, Cervantes signed a contract with the comedy writer Gaspar de Porres: Cervantes committed to deliver the comedies Confused and The Constantinople Agreement and the Death of Selín in fifteen days. For both works he would be paid forty ducats, but the texts haven’t survived.

Only the titles are known of his first theatrical pieces, as is the case with The Great TurquescaThe Naval BattleJerusalem, The AmaranthShe of MayThe Loving ForestThe Only One, and Bizarre Arsinda. Of all these texts only two manuscripts of his tragedies have been preserved: The Treatment of Algiers and The Numantia. One must remember that what happened in the theatre of the Spanish Golden Age was akin to what happened in publishing: writers lost their rights when they sold their work to the ‘comedy author’, that is, to the impresario who had invested his capital in its production in courtyard theatres like the Corral Príncipe or the Corral de la Cruz, which were the most well-known in the city of Madrid.

In 1615 he wrote Eight Comedies and Eight Entr’actes, Never Performed, comprised of the following titles::


El gallardo español (The Gallant Spaniard)
La gran Sultana doña Catalina de Oviedo (Ardenia’s House of Jelousies and Craziness)
Los baños de Argel (The Baths of Algiers)
La casa de los celos y selvas de Ardenia (The Happy Ruffian)
El laberinto de amor (The Great Sultana, Lady Catalina of Oviedo)
La entretenida (The Labyrinth of Love)
El rufián dichoso (The Entertaining One)
Pedro de Urdemalas (Pedro of Urdemalas)


La elección de los alcaldes de Daganzo (The Election of the Mayors of Daganzo)
Retablo de las maravillas (Tableau of Wonders)
El juez de los divorcios (The Divorce Judge)
El rufián viudo (The Widowed Ruffian)
El viejo celoso (The Old Jealous Man)
La cueva de Salamanca (The Cellar in Salamanca)
La guarda cuidadosa (The Careful Guard)
El vizcaíno fingido (The False Man from Biscay)

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