Date of Award
Alfonso Sastre, born in 1926, was a child during the Spanish Civil War. His temperament and personality were shaped by a Spain in the state of transition. He has seen coups d'états, dictatorship, a republic and monarchy. With each change of government Spain was searching for a way to unite her divided self, a self which had been divided since the Moors invaded Spain in the eighth century. Sastre has reflected Spain's search for liberty and has produced what he calls a "Theatre of Social Agitation, "the fundamental theme of which is revolution. With this type of theatre Sastre proposes to stir the conscience of the Spanish people to the urgency of the need for social action. He expresses in his teatre a profound concern in finding a metaphor for modern man, man left face to face with himself . Man has been left in such a state because in rejecting God to become God Himself, he has cut himself off from his metaphysical and spiritual roots. Proponents of the "God is dead" philosophy stress that man must become God in order to create the society in which man can exist independently of God Almighty.
Through his characters Alfonso Sastre questions man's capacity to exist in a society blighted with social hypocrisy, political injustice, and moral corruption. Each of the protagonists in the plays selected for this thesis seeks to change the status quo through revolutionary means, because present conditions are interfering with his acceptance of his sense of self. The nature of the forces which restrict modern man has frustrated him to the point where he must either act or be annihilated.
Hunter, Dorothy Thornton, "The search for liberty in the theatre of Alfonso Sastre" (1973). Master's Theses. 463.