Plautus and Terence: Not for Fools

Lope de Vega, Arte nuevo de hacer comedias en este tiempo

“It is true that I have written sometimes following that art which few people know, but then I see monsters spring forth from the other part, full in appearance, where the vulgar mass and the women go to canonize this sad exercise, and I turn myself just as much to that barbaric habit. And, when I have to write a comedy, I lock up those old precepts with their keys; I banish Terence and Plautus from my study, because they do not give me a voice (the truth usually shouts from silent books), and I write through the art which those who strove for vulgar applause have invented, because, as the mob pays for them, it is right to speak in the character of fools in order to afford them pleasure.”

Image result for lope de vega arte nuevo

Verdad es que yo he escrito algunas veces
siguiendo el arte que conocen pocos,
mas luego que salir por otra parte 35
veo los monstruos, de apariencia llenos,
adonde acude el vulgo y las mujeres
que este triste ejercicio canonizan,
a aquel hábito bárbaro me vuelvo;
y, cuando he de escribir una comedia, 40
encierro los preceptos con seis llaves;
saco a Terencio y Plauto de mi estudio,
para que no me den voces (que suele
dar gritos la verdad en libros mudos),
y escribo por el arte que inventaron 45
los que el vulgar aplauso pretendieron,
porque, como las paga el vulgo, es justo
hablarle en necio para darle gusto.

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