Biography of José Zorrilla

He was a Spanish poet and playwright, “Spanish Victor Hugo”. Most of his plays are scenic transcriptions of legends.

Born: February 21, 1817
Valladolid, Spain
Poet, Playwright

Early life and career

Zorrilla’s father held a high judicial office in Valladolid and sent his son to Toledo to study the law; but the young student wandered more in the picturesque surroundings of the city and wrote poems. Not finishing the course, Zorrilla fled to Madrid, where, hiding from the family, spent a whole year full of suffering and deprivation. February 15, 1837 – the funeral of the satirist Larry, who committed suicide. At his grave, unknown 20-year-old Zorrilla read an excellent poem, which impressed all those present.

José Zorrilla

His collection of legends and numerous dramatic works have finally consolidated his fame. Restless and eager for adventure, Zorrilla left first for Paris, then for Mexico, where he lived at the court of Emperor Maximilian, who appointed him as his reader. In 1860-66, Zorrilla was director of the National Theater in Mexico City. After the execution of the emperor, Zorrilla returned to Spain.

In 1889 he was solemnly crowned with a laurel wreath at the Alhambra, with the participation of numerous representatives from cities, universities, schools, literary societies and other associations.

What is José Zorrilla famous for?

Zorrilla wrote a lot. All his works bear a vivid national imprint. At the very beginning of his studies with poetry, Zorrilla announced that having been born a Spaniard and a Christian, he intends to glorify the glory of Spain and Christianity. He remained true to this decision throughout his life. Zorrilla is a poet of the beliefs, institutions and feelings of old Spain, his great talent has gone to resurrect the motifs of the old Spanish romance.

From the poems of Zorrila, his “Legendario del Cid”, the apotheosis of the three basic elements of the Spanish character is highly valued: religiosity, patriotism and a sense of equality.

Among the Zorrila’s dramas (he wrote them more than twenty) the first place is occupied by the “Don Juan Tenorio”, which was always put on the All Saints’ Day, celebrated every year on November 1.

Popular poems by José Zorrilla

A La Memoria Desgraciada Del Joven Literato D. Mariano Jose De Larra
Oriental

biography José Zorrilla

José Zorrilla death: January 23, 1893; Madrid, Spain