The language used in ‘Blood Wedding’ is extremely significant in fully understanding the emotion and atmosphere that Lorca is trying to portray. The first symbolic use of language in the play is the names used for the different characters, instead of giving each character a personal name and identity, Lorca gave them archetypal and symbolic qualities, for example the mother, the bride and the wife. This therefore makes the one character with a name differentiated and individualised, almost cut off from the other characters, in a league of his own.
Leonardo is a greatly symbolic name, suggesting the strength of a lion, a sense of fire and passion is created, and there is also the thought of the Spanish meaning of the name, which are lion and I burn. These meanings that you get just from the name and the Spanish meanings have a strong significant link to the building of Leonardo as a character and the type of person he is.
In Act one Scene two, the lullaby that opens the scene is extremely effective and contrasting to the manner in which the previous lines were delivered.
The mother-in-law’s earliest dialogue is extremely symbolic and helps to convey the situation of the Wife and Leonardo, the water is expressed as precious and sacred and the horse is conveyed as isolated and numb. From the powerful use of symbolism we can deduct that Lorca may be trying to portray the Wife and Leonardo’s relationship in this particular song. The water being the Wife and the Horse Leonardo, “Of the great big stallion, wouldn’t drink the water deep. ” (pg9) The horse’s refusal to drink the water could convey Leonardo’s refusal to stay with his Wife and Love her.
The mother-in-law’s words are very bitter and ruthless, “Horsey’s hooves are red with blood, Horsey’s mane is frozen, Deep inside his staring eyes, A silver dagger broken. ” (pg10) it seems that she is conscious that Leonardo is hiding something and resents him because of that, Leonardo to them is numb inside, yet their ideas of him are of complete contrast when we see him towards the end of the play with the Bride, he is alive and outspoken of his feelings. There is no connection between the Leonardo that the mother-in-law and Wife see, to the Leonardo that the Bride sees.
The Wife’s dialogue in this song shows two contrasts between her feelings for Leonardo and her feelings for her baby. “Oh, the great big stallion wouldn’t drink the water deep, pain as sharp as coldest ice,” (pg11) the words spoken of Leonardo greatly contrast with the words for her baby “Baby has a nice soft pillow. Baby’s quilt so fine to feel. ” (pg11) This shows the sensitive nature of the Wife towards her child yet the pain that she is experiencing because of Leonardo. Lorca is portraying the Wife’s feelings in a creative and artistic way, giving the audience a chance to empathise with her.
The use of verse in this scene captures the darkening mood and almost throws a shadow over the scenes that follow, pervasive the central characters. It appears that verse, used by a number of characters throughout the play, is used as a tool to highlight and portray true feelings, adding dramatic tension to the scenes. As we discover later in the play, Leonardo’s passion will eventually lead to his death, the metaphor of the hoarse is seen once again in Act Two Scene One, where the Servant is speaking to Leonardo “You’ll kill the animal racing him like that. ” to which Leonardo retorts “If he dies, it dies!
“(pg24) Again the horse is being used as a representation of Leonardo; this description could be a symbol for Leonardo’s racing heart and emotions that eventually kill him. Lorca’s use of imagery plays an extremely large part in the play, and human characters are constantly linked to the natural world. People are referred to as animals, earth, plants, water or flowers, in a way which places them in the superior context of natures expected rhythms, almost suggesting that the occurrences in the play are those of nature that were inevitable and could not have been avoided.
The idea of nature taking its course on humans in the play is shown on many occasions, for example when Leonardo displays his love for the Bride and how it cannot be helped “Oh, I’m not the one at fault. The fault belongs to the earth” (g52) this is again shown when the Bride attempts to justify herself and Leonardo’s deception, to the Mother “The other one’s arm dragged me like a wave from the sea” (pg60). Previously in Acts one and two, Lorca had focused on the human characters, but Act three projects action through a much higher poetic level.
Throughout most of Act three, any sense of previous naturalism that may have been displayed in the play, is lost. Along with the plot there is a significant build in the poetic images and the language used, Lorca subtly transforms the language into surrealistic and the images into greatly symbolic meanings. We loose the naturalism almost straight away when Act three Scene one opens with the Woodcutters conversing with a heavy, monotonous and intimidating quality. They give a sense of inevitable tragedy and establish that the end for the lovers’ is near.
The language at this point is short and urgent, with quick bursts of speech. The Woodcutters almost portray the heartbeat and subconscious of the Bride and Leonardo, arguing with one another about what they should have done. “They should leave them alone. ” “You have to follow your instinct. They were right to fun away” “They were deceiving each other. In the end the blood was strongest. ” (pg44) The Woodcutters are displaying the different views that people would have in regards to the actions taken by Leonardo and the Bride.
The Moon enters, the Moon is an unseen force, yet Lorca chooses to give the Moon a physical form, power and life. The Moon seems to represent the lovers’ fate, through the verse we can see that the Moon wants to find the lovers and has the power to do so with his light. Maintaining this surreal atmosphere, the Beggar Woman enters the stage directions state that she is death. Again an unseen force is being represented, evoking the obscurities that lie beyond awareness.
Her symbolic meaning is greatly displayed; the language she uses continually suggests a death is soon to occur “They’re opening the coffins, and white linen waits, spread on bedroom floors” (pg48) In keeping with the genre expressionism, Lorca uses many different ways in order to express the emotions or opinions of characters in ‘Blood Wedding’. He uses conventional prose, spoken dialogue between characters. The prose this gives the audience an opportunity to see an understandable display of feelings and actions as there is little subtext and the language is concise.
Additionally the prose also assists character development giving the audience an extra insight to them accumulating the tension. The language within ‘Blood Wedding’ is sharp, dramatised and emblematic; the use of song encloses many symbols, metaphors and images. Song is used to almost narrate the story, effectively informing the audience of preceding events or events which will soon take place. During Act Three, Scene two the Beggar Woman converses in song “Their eyes broken flowers, and their teeth Two fistfuls of frozen snow.
Both of them fell, and the Bride comes back, Her skirt and her hair stained with their blood,” (pg58) The Beggar Woman is creating an image of the characters, whilst explaining what has previously happened. Lorca uses verse to recap events in an imaginative, metaphorical and interesting way. The verse is a lot more poetic and is used for the most part by characters when they are confronting their inner truth or emotion. The expressive language is used by many of the characters accentuating instants of dramatic tension and imagery. The images Lorca is creating through the characters are often a straight relation to the action in the play.
In verse the language is always truth, Lorca gives the audience a chance to wholly appreciate the genuine feelings of the characters using this imaginative method. When using verse Lorca makes the association of love, beauty and death grippingly clear. At the end of the play, we are back from the strong surrealism and almost completely into naturalism. In the final scene the Wife and mother-in-law are left together mourning, after the little girl enters, announcing that deceased Leonardo and Bridegroom are being brought in, they begin speaking in verse, like a prayer.
“It’s the same. The cross, the cross. ” “Sweet nails, sweet cross, sweet name of Jesus. ” (pg62) The haunting last lines in a way encapsulate the tragedy where a feeling that began so small has escalated in to something that is now enormous “That barely fits the hand, But that slides in clean Through startled flesh And stops there, at the place Where trembles enmeshed The dark root of a scream. ” (pg63) As they have continued throughout the incoming of the bodies, it seems Lorca uses this time for the two women to almost conclude what has happened and finally end the play.