Date of Award

Spring 2013

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Hispanic Studies

First Advisor

Priscilla Meléndez


When faced with the term Romanticism, many people automatically think of the British poets, Wordsworth, Coleridge, or Byron, or the German philosopher Hegel and the writer Goethe. However, the Romantic Movement expanded far beyond northern Europe, and as it migrated it changed and took on different forms, so much so that when it reached Spain in the 1830s it had taken on a totally new form. Even though it only lasted about fifteen years, the Spanish Romantic Movement had a very distinct character that calls for its own characterization separate from that of the Romantic Movement of northern Europe. The principal Romantic writers drew inspiration from foreign, exotic places like the Orient, while Spanish Romantics were inspired by the writers of their own Golden Age of literature. The artistic and intellectual progression from the Enlightenment to Romanticism in northern Europe also held an important role, a role that was not as crucial in Spain. Many academics and intellectuals also considered Spain to be an innately romantic country, a characterization that contributed to its ability to produce classically Romantic literature. In order to prove that Spanish Romanticism has different origins and deals with themes and ideas differently than the Romantic Movement in northern Europe, I have examined two of the most important Spanish Romantic dramas: Don Álvaro o la fuerza del sino (1835) by Duque de Rivas and Don Juan Tenorio (1844) by José Zorrilla. The study of the uses and manifestations of the concepts of freedom, passion and love, and religion, namely Catholicism, in each of these works shows the ways in which Spanish Romantic literature differs from other Romantic literature in crucial ways, and thus should be considered as unique from the northern European Romantic Movement.


Senior thesis completed at Trinity College for the degree of Bachelor of Arts in Hispanic Studies.