Torres Naharro, Bartolomé de

Torres Naharro, Bartolomé de

(bärtōlōmā` thā tô`rās nä-ä`rō), fl. 1531, Spanish dramatist and lyric poet, b. Extremadura. As a young man he went to Italy and became a priest. Greatly influenced by the Italian Renaissance, he is considered the originator of the modern Spanish secular theater. He is known for his Propaladia (1517), a collection of eight plays and a prologue; the prologue is the first theoretical exposition of dramatic precepts for the Spanish stage.


See his Propaladia and Other Works, ed. by J. E. Gillet (4 vol., 1943–61).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Torres Naharro, Bartolomé de


Born in the late 15th century in La Torre de Miguel Sesmero, Badajoz Province; died’ circa 1531 in Rome. Spanish playwright.

Torres Naharro stated his views on drama in the foreword to his play anthology Propalladia: he affirmed the possibility of combining the tragic and the comic within a play and rejected the division of plays into “high” and “low” genres, distinguishing them rather according to style as comedias a fantasía, based on imagined incidents, and comedias a noticia, based on events observed in daily life.

Most of Torres Naharro’s plays are comedias a fantasía, prototypes of the cloak-and-sword comedy. They include Jacinta, Serafina, The Spoils (c. 1512), Aquilana (an imitation of Ariosto’s / Suppositi), and Himeneo. His comedias a noticia include The Human Way (c. 1513) and Soldatesca (c. 1514), which are genre pieces with satirical elements.


Propalladia and Other Works, vols. 1–4. Bryn Mawr, Pa., 1943–61.


Istoriia zapadno-evropeiskogo teatra, vol. 1. Moscow, 1956.
Gillet, J. E. “Torres Naharro and Spanish Drama of the Sixteenth Century.” In the collection Estudios eruditos in memoriam de A. Bonilla y San Martin, vol. 2. Madrid, 1930.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.