Bernarda Alba's house

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Bernarda Alba's house. Tragedy of the Women in the Villages of Spain ( Spanish : La Casa de Bernarda Alba. Drama de mujeres en los pueblos de España ) is a three-act drama by the Spanish author Federico García Lorca (1898–1936).

It was completed two months before Lorca's death in 1936. A German translation has been published by Reclam-Verlag . Bernarda Albas Haus , together with Yerma und Bluthochzeit (Bodas de sangre), forms a trilogy ( trilogía de tragedias rurales ) on the role of women and their oppression in Spain in the 1930s. The plot of the work is very simple and limited to the people involved. Not a single man appears in the entire plant.


The action begins with the death of Bernarda's second husband, Antonio María Benavides. Family tradition requires the widow to oblige her five daughters to mourning eight years after the funeral mass. For the young women, this means complete isolation from the outside world. This is where the central conflict of the drama begins. Angustias is the only daughter from her first marriage and inherited a fortune from her father. Because of this, and because she is the eldest of the daughters, she has permission to become engaged to Pepe el Romano. Adela, the youngest at the age of 20, rebels against the strict order of her mother and also falls in love with Pepe el Romano, who returns her love. Nevertheless, he decides to marry Angustias for financial reasons. Pepe el Romano not only meets with his future wife Angustias at night, but also secretly with Adela. Martirio, her jealous sister, denounces Adela in front of her mother. Desiring to restore order to the house, Bernarda shoots Pepe el Romano with a rifle in the courtyard. When Adela hears the shot, she mistakenly believes that her lover is dead. Adela then takes her own life.

main characters

  • Bernarda Alba (60 years): mother of five daughters. She lives with her children, her old mother and two maids in a house in an Andalusian village. At the beginning of the plot, Bernarda's husband dies, and so she becomes the mistress of the house. For her, the most important thing is what is said about her and her family in the village, and so she constantly tries to maintain a facade to protect the family honor. Bernarda leads a tyrannical regiment in the house that becomes a prison for her unmarried daughters. There are often conflicts between her and her youngest daughter, Adela.
  • María Josefa (80 years): Bernarda Alba's mother. Bernarda locks her mother in her room because she is ashamed of her. There is also a conflict between the two, as María Josefa rebels against Bernarda and speaks of marriage plans and family wishes.
  • The daughters:
    • Angustias (39 years): Is the eldest daughter of Bernarda and her first husband. She is described as unattractive and is the only one of the daughters to have inherited wealth from her late father. She is still unmarried, but plans to marry Pepe El Romano.
    • Magdalena (30 years old): Magdalena is very inconspicuous and plays a subordinate role in this drama. However, she occasionally comes to the rescue of her younger sister Adela. Magdalena especially suffers from the death of her father, since she was his favorite daughter.
    • Amelia (27 years): Like her sister Magdalena, Amelia does not have a major or superficial role.
    • Martirio (24 years): daughter of Bernarda. Martirio is jealous of her sister Angustias because she wants to marry Pepe El Romano, whom she also loves. She is the only one who happens to know about the relationship between Pepe El Romano and Adela, which gives her reason to be jealous of them too. She is scheming and plays the individual family members off against each other. For them, their own advantage is the most important thing.
    • Adela (20 years): The youngest daughter. In contrast to her sisters, Adela is pretty and attractive. She is the only one to rebel against her tyrannical mother and tries to break out of the social system. Adela meets secretly and illegally with Pepe El Romano. She believes that he loves her and wants to get married. When it turns out that the two are having a relationship, his mother tries to shoot him. Adela mistakenly believes this happened and hangs herself.
  • La Poncia (60 years old): Has worked as a maid in Bernarda Alba's house for 30 years. Bernarda sends her regularly to keep her informed about life and gossip in the village. It is the only contact with the "outside world".
  • Pepe El Romano (25 years): is the most attractive man in the village, but has no speaking role. He and Angustias want to get married, but apparently he doesn't love her, but her money. He secretly meets with the youngest daughter, Adela. Martirio is also in love with Pepe, but he is not with her.



  • Federico García Lorca (1936): Bernarda Albas Haus (German), Reclam. ISBN 3-15-008525-X
  • Federico García Lorca (1936): La casa de Bernarda Alba (Spanish), Reclam. ISBN 3-15-009129-2
  • Federico García Lorca: Bernarda Alba's house. Tragedy of women in the villages of Spain. - 1st edition of this edition 2001, [Nachdr.]. - Stuttgart: Reclam, 2006.

Web links