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The play that will be investigated in this International Baccalaureate Works In Translation assignment will be Blood Wedding, by the playwright Federico Garcia Lorca. Lorca is an individualist, his individualism influenced many or all of his plays, but definitely this play, Blood Wedding. The topic that is being investigated in this assignment is the symbolism in the play. They are many symbols in the play itself and the lullaby in the play, such as the colors of the Bridegroom’s, Leonardo’s, and the Bride’s house, the bull, blood, the moon, the horse, the river, and the knife. So in the play Blood Wedding, Lorca uses symbolism in the play itself and the lullaby to help develop the plot of the play.
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The colors of the Bridegroom’s, Leonardo’s, and the Bride’s house are symbols that help develop the plot of the play. In act 1, scene 1 of the play, the color of the Bridegroom’s and his mother’s kitchen is painted yellow. Yellow is the color of gold and wheat, which is a symbol of wealth, and in the Bridegroom’s household they are a very wealthy. Yellow is also the color of vigor and life, which is ironic because the Bridegroom’s father, that was a household member, has previously died because he was murdered. It is also ironic because the Bridegroom will also die later on in the play. In act 1, scene 2 of the play, the color of a room in Leonardo’s house is pink. Pink is the color of love, which is a symbol of Leonardo’s love; ironically not love for his own wife, but for the Bride. Pink is also the color of a calm environment, but again it is ironic because it is nowhere near calm where ever Leonardo is present within the play. In act 1, scene 3 of the play, the color of the Bride’s cave-house has a hard white material use for walls. White is the color of purity, which is a symbol that the Bride is pure, a virgin. White is also the color for something that is plain, which the Bride is very, because she lacks emotions towards the Bridegroom. Since the Bride shows little to no emotion towards the Bridegroom, the Bridegroom’s clinginess is emphasis. In act 3, scene 2 of the play, the color of the two girls clothing is dark blue. Dark blue is the color of the men’s dominance over the women in society. The two girls that are wearing dark blue clothing is the symbol of the deaths of the men. Since the men are dead the woman now have to take over their roles in society. The color dark blue also evokes the emotion, sadness. Each family lost a household member, this is their time to be mournful and to be sad for their losses. Not only does these things that are mentioned above help develop the plot, but also it helps one to understand the play much more clearly.
The bull in the play is a symbol that helps develop the plot of the play. The bull can be a symbol of either Leonardo or the Bridegroom. A bull is masculine, strong, fertile, but also mortal. Leonardo can be seen as a bull because he is a quick tempered person, which he even calls himself, and also because of his aggressiveness personality, masculinity, and strength. The Bridegroom can be also be seen as a bull, but it is ironic because one thing a bull can symbolizes is fertility yet the Bridegroom cannot further his family tree since he is killed. His family tree ends at him. The mother asks the Bridegroom “how can it be that something as small as a pistol or a knife can a destroy a man who is like a bull?” (Lorca, 7) The bull foreshadows the death of Leonardo and the Bridegroom, testing their mortality. When Leonardo and the Bridegroom fought each other in a duel, they were using a knife as their weapon, this is the symbolism of a matador using a spade to kill the bull. “The wedding looms like a bull in the ring!” (Lorca, 52) The wedding itself is a symbol of a bull in a ring, a bullfight, where the bulls, Leonardo and the Bridegroom, are chasing after the capote, the Bride. To conclude, the symbol, the bull, helps develop the play’s plot and helps one to understand what the symbol in the play means.
The moon in the play is a symbol that helps develop the plot of the play. A moon usually symbolizes romance or a peaceful setting, but ironically the moon in the play does not, it symbolizes the fate of Leonardo’s, and the Bridegroom’s death, ending in bloodshed. “And so tonight my cheeks Will fill with crimson blood, Allow no shade, no shadow – They will not get away!” (Lorca, 82) The word “will” in the quote it shows that something is certainly and definitely going happen to them. This means Leonardo , and the Bridegroom fate is sealed; they will die. “Two men at the feet of the horse / Dead in the splendor of the night.”(Lorca, 98) What this quotes says is that two men has died in the “splendor of the night,” the moonlight. The moon also gives off moonlight, which is a shadow from the sun. This helps add more symbolism of fate from the symbol, the moon.
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The lullaby in the play has symbols that helps develop the plot of the play. Symbols such as blood, the river/water, the horse, and the knife.. Blood is a symbol for both life and death, passion, love, and heritage. Leonardo is a hot-blooded person, that does not think before acting, and he is quickly tempered, but he is a passionate lover, that is full of life and vigor. “The blood was flowing stronger than water” (Lorca, 26) This is showing that blood is stronger than water. Leonardo’s love and passion, blood, for the Bride is stronger than his wife’s and children’s, water. The Bridegroom’s Mother wants the Bridegroom to be fertile so that he could extend their bloodline. These are how blood symbolizes life in the play.
The horse, the most important symbol in the play is the symbol for Leonardo. A horse usually symbolizes strength, freedom, and love, and Leonardo are these things. In the lullaby the horse “wouldn’t drink the water,” (Lorca, 17) which means Leonardo’s love for his wife and children is non-existing.
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