Blood Wedding

Blood Wedding Essay Questions

  1. 1

    Compare and contrast the Bride’s and the Mother’s views of feminine propriety. What do they think a woman should be allowed to do?

    Mother emphasizes that a woman's first priority should be the physical safety of herself and her family. She advocates for women to hide away from society behind "thick walls" and focus on their families, a worldview that equates homemaking with a kind of cowardice. The Bride, on the other hand, resents being pressured to marry at all, and does not want to be in a relationship with either Leonardo or the Bridegroom. Although she lacks a cohesive political ideology or worldview, she longs for more independence and the freedom to make her own decisions in life.

  2. 2

    The characters of Blood Wedding frequently discuss how remote the Bride’s farm is from the rest of the town. What is the significance of the Bride’s geographical isolation?

    The Bride's isolation is an extreme example of the lifestyle that Mother and Leonardo's Mother-in-Law advocate. They believe that women should be kept away from the immoral influences of society, and the Bride has done exactly that--to a point where even Mother complains about the inconvenience of it all. The remoteness of the Bride's farm also parallels her emotional alienation; she is so repressed that she is unable to truly love Leonardo or the Bridegroom.

  3. 3

    Lorca takes special care to make clear the financial situations of the main characters. Why might these details be important?

    In Lorca's countryside, marriage is as much an economic transaction as it is a romantic one. The Bride hopes to secure her future and that of her children by marrying the wealthy Bridegroom, and meanwhile, Leonardo bitterly resents his own family's financial difficulties. This constant striving for more money and land poisons the relationships between the characters, and sows resentment for the wealthy Bridegroom's family among Leonardo and the poorer people in town.

  4. 4

    Discuss the significance of the Moon's monologue.

    The only non-human character in the play, the Moon represents the viciousness of nature. Although the town is a conservative and repressive place for many of the characters, nature is just as harsh. Although the indifference of nature is a theme in many works of literature, for Lorca, nature is not only indifferent but actively malevolent, hoping for arrogant humanity to receive its comeuppance.

  5. 5

    Why doesn't Lorca show the murders? We learn about them from an anonymous, insignificant group of girls rather than a major character. What effect does this have?

    By refraining from portraying the violent deaths of Leonardo and the Bridegroom, Lorca deprives the audience of the spectacle and focuses instead on the negative repercussions it has on the people in town--both those who are close to the Bridegroom and the Felixes, and complete strangers. The use of the girls as a framing device emphasizes that the oppression of women does not only harm the rather unlikeable Bride, but also contributes to a culture of violence and misogyny that hurts everyone, including, most poignantly, the young girls who represent the future of the village.

  6. 6

    Why is Death personified as a Beggar Woman? What importance does she have in Blood Wedding?

    The old, ugly Beggar Woman stands in contrast to the Moon, who appears as a young woodcutter. However, they are equally evil and both conspire to kill Leonardo and the Bridegroom. By personifying these two supernatural beings in opposing human forms, Lorca implicates all of humanity in the evening's violence, rather than associating the malevolence of nature with one particular demographic group. She also stands in hideous contrast with the other old women in the play--Mother, and Mother-in-Law. However, while she is frightening where the other women are matronly, there are also similarities in their personalities, speaking styles, and values, and this suggests that the Mothers' vendetta is responsible for the sons' deaths.

  7. 7

    Violent imagery and stories appear several times at the beginning of the play. What is the significance of this technique?

    The Mother-in-Law's sinister lullaby and the Neighbour's account of a gruesome industrial accident serve to establish the dangerous, violent culture of the town, which is fully exposed to all the cruelty of both nature and humanity. These also serve to set the mood of the play and foreshadow the ultimate downfall of Leonardo and the Bridegroom, a decision that contributes to the tragic nature of the events, which seem almost predestined due to the extensive foreshadowing.

  8. 8

    What is the significance of the music and poetry that appears in the play?

    Lorca was deeply interested in folk music and rhymes, and many different songs and poems appear in Blood Wedding. They establish the traditional culture in which the characters live and die, but the changing style of the lyrics as the play progresses foreshadows its bloody conclusion. The lyrics are initially flowery and traditional, referring to animals and flowers rather than human beings. As the acts progress, though, the lyrics refer more directly to the events in the play, and become sharper and more gruesome, reflecting the characters' fear and grief.

  9. 9

    At the end of Blood Wedding, the Bride's future is left ambiguous. What is the significance of Lorca's lack of resolution?

    Although some readings of Blood Wedding suggest that the Bride will be punished or even killed by the townspeople, Lorca's failure to explain what happens to her shifts the focus to the ordeal the young woman has already experienced. Furthermore, the death of the Bride (either in the woods or by execution) would complicate his portrayal of her as a character who is fiercely independent but also vindictive and selfish. Turning the Bride into a martyr would vastly simplify the play's critique of women's rights; by leaving her as an unsympathetic, alienated woman, Lorca emphasizes that women's rights ought not to be tied to perceived virtue or purity but should be unconditional.

  10. 10

    Discuss the Bride's explanation of her choices at the end of the play. Is it credible or sympathetic?

    At the end of Act III, the Bride explains that although intellectually, she wanted to marry the Bridegroom for his kindness, wealth, and stability, she was uncontrollably attracted to Leonardo and had no choice but to run away with him. The Bride's decision to privilege her animal nature over higher financial and intellectual concerns does not absolve her of responsibility for the deaths, but it does place her firmly on the side of nature in a play that consistently creates a dichotomy between the harsh natural world and the oppressive urban one.