Rosalía de Castro
The voice of Galicia
During the 19th Century, Spain was aimed to the loss of its American colonies; overseas territories that so much glory had given to Spain during the past. Moreover, Spain was destabilized because of different political views: "liberal", "reactionary" and "moderate" groups that succeeded in the power time after time.
Amid of this difficult situation, a brave Galician woman was born in 1837 named Rosalía de Castro. Her literary work as a poet and novelist meant the resurgence of the Galician language with a deep and sentimental lyricism. Her life was a whole host of difficulties; as a child she witnessed the poverty of the Galician rural areas, she suffered from her son’s death, and she never enjoyed good health. Now, she is considered one of the most important poet and novelist of the XIX century because of the nobility of her work.
First of all, this program will show an overview of the situation of Spain during the XIX century: the Peninsular War against the Napoleonic troops, the loss of its last American colonies (Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Philippines) and the different political views (liberal, reactionary and moderate groups).
In order to understand the literary work of Rosalía de Castro, the students need to know about the different spoken languages in the Spanish territory: Galician, Catalan and Basque. These language minorities were underestimated. Rosalía de Castro wrote most of her work in Galician language and she became a symbol of the Galician people.
Once the student is aware of the historical and linguistic situation of the XIX century, we can give an overview of the life of Rosalía de Castro: childhood, importance of her marriage with the writer Manuel Murguía, mother of seven children, homesickness, health, sadness and her strong sense of commitment to the poor and to the defenseless, general subject matters of her work. Finally the student will be able to listen to two different beautiful poems: “Negra Sombra” and “Adiós ríos, adiós fontes” through the music of different artists and experience the depth of her words.
Helping the student to understand the situation of Spain and Galicia during the XIX century.
Being aware of the different official languages of Spain and the underestimation that these languages have suffered for centuries.
Knowing the biography of Rosalía de Castro: overview of her life and literary work.
ManyCam, maps to show the geographical situation of Spain, Galicia and Santiago de Compostela, pictures of Rosalía de Castro, picture of a bill of 500 pesetas where she was worshipped, music of artists who have put her poems to music, debate with the students about their impressions, maybe they can sing her poems like a karaoke.
Class duration: 45 minutes
Language: English, Spanish and French
Registration deadline: 1 week previous to the session
Target audience: Middle-high school students