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Diego Ximenez de Enciso

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Dramatic poet, b. in Andalusia, Spain, c. 1585; date of death unknown. All trace of him is lost after 1632. He was much admired and praised by Cervantes, Lope de Vega and Montalván; the last considers him a "model for those who wish to write great comedies". Although he enjoyed some fame, as his frequent mention by his contemporaries would show, he has shared the fate of many other Spanish dramatists of his day, and his works have undeservedly been consigned to oblivion. In his catalogue of the Spanish theatre, Cayetano Barrera gives a list of eleven plays by Enciso, but most of them are scattered throughout the great libraries of Europe, and only three have reached several editions, namely, "El Príncipe Don Cárlos", "La Mayor Hazaña del Emperador Cárlos Quinto", and "Los Médicis de Florencia". To the average reader, however, only the last named is easily accessible. It is to be found in "La Biblioteca de Autores Españoles". These three plays were probably chosen for repeated editions because they show Enciso at his best. Enciso's idea of the historical drama is thoroughly unique for a Spanish dramatist, for he alone of all his contemporaries seems to regard the historical drama as being capable of adhering closely to facts. He does not, however, adhere slavishly to history, but rather uses it as did Shakespeare, that is, he uses recognized sources in such a way as to give to his plot the appearance of probability. In his versification Enciso shows great variety, but the eleven-syllabled verse seems to predominate. His work as a whole is characterized by the elevated tone which pervades it, the simplicity and interest of the plots, and its sonorous language.

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