Godínez, Felipe

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GODÍNEZ, FELIPE (c. 1585–c. 1639), Spanish playwright. Born in Moguer, Godínez became famous as a preacher in Seville. Jewish sympathies remained strong in his "New Christian" family: one of his grandparents was penanced by the Inquisition and an uncle fled to North Africa, where he reverted to Judaism. Old Testament themes inspired a number of Godínez' plays – El divino Isaac, Las lágrimas de David, Amán y Mardoqueo o la reina Esther, Los trabajos de Job, and Judit y Holofernes. Of these, Los trabajos de Job is memorable for its pathetic evocation of the trials of its hero. Godínez also wrote works on the lives of Christian saints, as well as some comedies of intrigue typical of the period, notably Aun de noche alumbrael sol. The biblical works are considered his best. Godínez was arrested by the Inquisition and in November 1624 appeared at an auto-de-fé – one of the very few dramatists of the Spanish Golden Age to appear at an auto-de-fé in person. His property was confiscated, and he was deprived of his ecclesiastical offices and imprisoned for two years. After his release he moved to Madrid, where he was accepted in literary circles, although writers like Lope de Vega (1562–1635) satirized him because of his Jewish origin. Godínez nevertheless agreed to deliver Lope de Vega's funeral oration.


M. Méndez Bejarano, Histoire de la Juiverie de Séville (1922), 195–213; A. Valbuena Prat, Historia de la literatura española, 2 (1946), 148–9, 151; E. Diez Echarri and J.M. Roca Franquesa, Historia de la literatura española e hispanoamericana (1960), 513–4; C. Menéndez Onrubia, in: Segismundo, 25–26 (1977), 89–130; M.S. Carrasco Urgoiti, in: Nueva Revista de Filología Hispánica, 30 (1981), 546–73; P. Bolaños Donoso, La obra dramática de Felipe Godínez; trayectoria de un dramaturgo marginado (1983); G. Vega García-Luengos, Problemas de un dramaturgo del Siglo del Oro. Estudios sobre Felipe Godínez, con dos comedias inéditas: La Reina Ester, Ludovico el Piadoso (1986).

[Kenneth R. Scholberg]