The House of Bernarda Alba by Federico García Lorca

Bernarda Alba's house It is classified as a play that is divided into three acts. It focuses on Bernarda Alba, a woman who has been widowed for the second time. She talks about a traditional society and how the widow will manage.


Book The House of Bernarda Alba

The House of Bernarda Alba is a book and in turn is constituted by three acts and was written in 1936, its author is the Spaniard Federico García Lorca. Despite being made for the aforementioned date, its publication was in the year 1945 in Buenos Aires. All this thanks to Margarita Xirgu.

The main character in the play is Bernarda Alba, who is a widow for the second time, at 60 years old. It is after this that she decides to live in total mourning for eight years of her life.

The House of Bernarda Alba in its summary it is expressed that the author describes the history in deep Spain that developed at the beginning of the XNUMXth century. It is for this reason that the environment in which he developed was a totally traditional society. For this reason, the role of women at the time plays a secondary rank.

Similarly, religious elements that focus on fanaticism as well as taboo are highlighted when it comes to understanding intimate aspects. On the other hand, the protagonist lives with her mother, two maids and her five daughters who are Angustias, Magdalena, Amelia, Adela and Martirio.

dramatic resources

After everything proposed by the critics and in turn visualized the opinions about La Casa de Bernarda Alba, these are the topics:

The author does a nice function of temporary parameters. Which in turn allows a good distinction to be made of the scenic space in question. With the intention that the entire narrative of the story be displayed correctly. Therefore, as La casa de Bernarda Alba progresses, readers delve into her home and in turn into the soul of everyone who lives in the house.

In addition to this, La Casa de Bernarda Alba, has poetry in its constant language. What can be visualized since the proverb begins.

Similarly, there is a costumbrista and realistic style in La casa de Bernarda Alba. Which in turn is influenced by symbolic argumentative elements. Which leads us in turn to poetic realism.

On the other hand, it has photographic aspects that are represented in documentations that are described under the words of its writer. It is for this reason that a kind of chromatic symbolism can be visualized that is represented with mourning and the purity of honor. What is contrasted with rural aspects, simple and full of monotony, taking the readers to the climax full of seclusion.

theme and ideology

The theme and ideology of La Casa de Bernarda Alba is as follows:


Throughout the story you can visualize the desire that exists because all the problematic aspects remain in the house. That is, the characters do not want outsiders to find out about the problem.

The writer managing these elements, intends to use the metaphor focusing on the color of the walls of the house, which in turn has a name in the introduction in search of defining each act.


This situation can be visualized when a comparison is made of its beginning in which the walls were super white at the beginning. To then change to a normal white and in turn at the end a bluish white is shown, which was in the upper area.


Bernarda's daughters are subjected to being locked up in their home for eight years, after their mother takes the posture of totally exaggerated mourning. That is why everyone sees with regret how Angustias, who is the daughter of Bernarda's first marriage, does not submit to these types of demands.

On the other hand, Angustias manages to take with him as a suitor the most sought-after leading man in town. That is why there begins to be a certain hatred on the part of the sisters, which spreads every time the story unfolds.

The envy

Angustias is cataloged as the best party in Bernarda's house. It is for this reason that Pepe el Romano intends to conquer her. After this, Adela expresses that she is really the best qualified both in physical appearance and in her age and intellect.

Despite Adela's description, Pepe Romano still considers that it is best to stay with Angustias because he may even do it because of his interest in her being the one with the most money.

On the other hand, Martirio and Adela envy the situation that Angustias is experiencing because it is considered by them the least they say about this situation. In turn, Martirio comes to see how Pepe and Adela spend the nights together. Which leads us into an indisputable conflict that leads us into betrayal.


The implicit power of intrinsic and extrinsic hierarchy

This is based on the elements located within La Casa de Bernarda Alba. On the other hand, it constitutes the five sisters that constitute a hierarchical scale. Angustias is the older sister and therefore the heir to the fortunes that Bernarda's first husband brought with him. It is after this that Angustias is the one with the most money and power of all the sisters.

After the sisters is María Josefa, who is Bernarda's mother. To in turn end with her employees, who are part of the lowest category social circle, since they have the task of serving those who live in La casa de Bernarda Alba.

This scale of command is circumstantial, since the position is directly related to the number of assets you own. The more abundant the goods, the greater importance the character has according to society.

In addition to this, another element is constituted that is related to the position of independence that the character possesses. This element appears remarkably, at the moment in which the widow Bernarda is not on the scene. Since the characters begin to develop from the same social rank.

It is in this way that the rank of each position is defined according to the power they have towards the other characters. An example of this can be seen in Poncia, who is the maid and friend of the widow Bernarda, but she has the power of knowledge that allows characters like Adela not to challenge her.


It is directly related to the widow Bernarda and her two deceased husbands.


The money

This aspect of life is of great importance, because in La casa de Bernarda, it is what gives you a good social and economic status. Well, Bernarda has features of importance to her neighbors and in turn to the town thanks to money. It is also important to mention that Bernarda believes that the opinion of people outside of her household is important to her.

On the other hand, the importance of money can be given when talking about the marriage that Angustias had with Pepe el Romano. This is because at the time women could not handle any type of inheritance if they did not have a husband. It is for this reason that when she joins Pepe, she Angustias can inherit her money.

After this Angustia manages to be the first sister to marry, despite the fact that the marriage was not made with love. Rather, in the relationship, economic convenience stood out.


This is based on the elements that carry deception and bad times.

What is said and what is silent

In the story, you can constantly see aspects of manipulation related to what is said and, in turn, what is not said. This is what leads to folding the character that each of Bernarda's daughters have.

Well, there is a kind of repression towards the wishes that each of the sisters have. Among the examples of it is when La Poncia says to leave Angustias alone and if there is any kind of liking for Pepe el Romano, she must be dissipated.


It is important to mention that the sisters always, due to their social situation, hide certain actions. Among the examples that can be seen is the eldest of the sisters, Angustias, who marries a man she does not love because she is only interested in getting her money.

On the other hand, this Adela who wants freedom and in turn has rebellious traits that go directly against her mother. She even gets to be locked in a closet with Angustias's fiancé. Well, she always wanted to go over her mother Bernarda de ella.

It is important to mention that Bernarda, in search of making the experience in her home much less difficult. For this reason, the sisters say just what is necessary, seeking that there is no contradiction with her mother. Well, they are all censored.

The role of women

In La Casa de Bernarda Alba, women have a role that is described as the weaker sex. This is because it is considered for the times in which the story is set that women require a man to be able to live and in turn to be complete women.

Everything can be seen specifically in the life of Angustias, since she had constant pressure from her mother and, in turn, from society, to marry Pepe el Romano.

The fight for freedom

Bernarda Alba's house wants to highlight the role that women had in the XNUMXth century. Highlighting their development within a patriarchal society. Which leads us to understand that women in history did not have the opportunity to make their own decisions.

All this because their role should be based on the social requirements established at the time. The widow's house is specifically the representation of that repression experienced by women. In La casa de Bernarda Alba, there is an external and an internal structure.

It is important to mention that the interior reflects oppression and in turn the need for freedom, highlighting the spaces where Bernarda is, who describes total power and silence.

On the other hand, in the external structure we talk about all the aspects that are outside the house. Emphasizing that in the house the girls are not free. Highlighting on the other hand, two characters who challenge Bernarda's authority, who are María Josefa and Adela.

María Josefa describes the voice of experience, who wants freedom by escaping from her home. In second place is Alera, which symbolizes the voice of youth. She seeks to escape from established roles, seeking to confront Bernarda's authority. All this seeks to describe the authoritarian rupture that exists in the house.


This aspect stands out, since it could be said that the oppression of women is a constant observation that is displayed in La casa de Bernarda Alba. Highlighting the absolute and incorrect power that men had towards women.

Aspect that repressed women is visualized, since they had to depend completely on men and in turn the duty to do what they want at the time and time they want.

On the other hand, there is talk of the way in which society judged women if they did not get married. Pointing out that women were made at that time, according to social demands, to wash, sew, knit, clean and cook, since they were women and were not conditioned for other tasks.

At the moment Bernarda's second husband dies, she becomes the authority that oppresses and controls the lives of her daughters. It is after this, that she initiates activities that gradually take away the youth of the girls. In addition to this, she decides that they should all live in seclusion in her home, living a rigorous mourning. In order to honor her husband. All this against the will of her daughters.


The semiotic symbology, within La casa de Bernarda Alba is as follows:


It focuses on elements such as water, pearls, stars and animals. In turn, it is used as a referential symbology of sexual desire. All this through suffocation, responding to the reason why Bernarda with great anxiety wants to close the windows to Adela and Martirio. Two of the sisters who have a great thirst. Like the horses when they kick and come thirsty.

It is important to mention that the town where the story takes place does not have rivers, which in turn symbolize life. Rather, it has wells, which is a symbol full of darkness and death.

This also contrasts with the waters that remain stagnant and in turn are poisoned after the action of the wells that have the water. On the other hand, a cleaning of the sea is carried out, which is directly associated with María Josefa.

On the other hand, Angustias's pearl ring and, in turn, her marriage, demonstrates the desire to escape for someone. In addition to this, the horse has the objective of symbolizing the oppression of the energy that causes sexuality.


This is specifically based on Adela's love for enjoying the view of the moon and stars. In turn, this represents eroticism. Which brings us directly to the passionate relationship that Adela develops with Pepe el Romano. In addition to this, it highlights her desire to have him in her life on a sexual level.

It is important to mention that Adela indicates that the night is beautiful in addition to the moon and the stars. Which directly symbolizes the desire that she has to be a totally free woman.

White and black

It has a kind of element that is based on the idea of ​​documentary at a photographic level. The white color seeks to represent all the positive elements. As is the case with life, freedom and sexuality.

On the other hand, black is directly related to death, it is important to mention that Adela dies at night. In addition to this, the fanaticism in religion stands out, which speaks directly to us of mourning.

The white color

The white that is described on the walls of the house, while the story unfolds, its brightness decreases. First of all, there was an extremely bright and pure white.

Then that white turns into one full of bluish features. On the other hand, at the end you can see how that white loses its color that represents purity. Well, Bernarda's obsession with girls is ending life as they knew it.

The color green

It has the objective of representing death and in turn the rebellion that existed in the character of Lorca.

the suffocating heat

This element serves as a collaborating element to generate a tension in the drama. All in order to mold the character that leads to those who live in the same home, generating sadness.

In addition to this, it makes a distinction between the population that lives in the drylands and the one that lives within the humid lands. The dry ones are the sisters for their burial, while the wet ones are those who are external to the situation.

On the other hand, it delves into elements related to fate and in turn the fatality that the development of the story of La casa de Bernarda Alba carries with it.

The staff

It represents the power that Bernarda generates, highlighting elements that bring with them tyranny. It is for this reason that at the moment Adela breaks it, she seeks to represent rebellion and, in turn, the desire to put an end to the tyranny that her mother generated.

On the other hand, the cane has the objective of representing it in a phallic way because its shape is in this way. In addition to this, and finally, the cane symbolizes Bernarda's blindness to the passions that are generated within her lives.

The names of characters

  • Bernarda: represents the masculinity that is not possessed in the house. In addition to that, the meaning of the name is with the strength of a bear.
  • Anguish: is a character full of oppression and depression. In addition to this, she symbolizes martyrdom and storm,
  • Magdalena: This is a name that comes from the Bible. Therefore, it represents the feeling generated by crying like Magdalena.
  • Amelia: has the objective of representing the honey that must be had in life, to sweeten difficult moments.
  • Adela: specifically focuses on representing the noble nature that is possessed. In the same way, it seeks to symbolize the elements of the verb to advance.
  • María Josefa: the first name means the mother of the Savior. While Joseph is the one who became the father of Jesus. Which in turn symbolizes the age of the person.
  • La Poncia: This name is specifically based on Pontius Pilate, who is a biblical character. That he washed his hands well, seeking as well as in the bible to wash away his guilt. Thus allowing the Savior to be crucified.

Literary resources

In La casa de Bernarda Alba, its author, Federico García Lorca, chose the names, seeking to represent the personality of each of the characters in the story. It is after this, that they contain great symbolism and in turn power. That is why we are talking about the following:


This character stands out for having a very strong character. In the moments in which he visualizes himself in the story he screams and in turn generates the need to remain silent. He generates the sensation of wanting less shouting and in turn more works.

In addition to this, it represents the way in which Bernarda decides to lock herself up with her daughters, to try to mourn. Likewise, it is closely related to actions carried out arbitrarily by Bernarda, as it was when she locked María Josefa in a room from which she could not leave, since she remained under a dictatorial regime.


This character has always wanted to get out of the life that his mother offered him. That is why he often told his sisters and Poncia that fortunately he would soon come out of that hell.

All this shows that Angustias is not happy in La casa de Bernarda Alba. Sad situation, since half of her life has been spent there. Angustias with great anxiety decides to accept Pepe el Romano's marriage proposal for that reason, because she wants to leave her home at all costs.

However, the sisters of Angustia and La Poncia consider that Pepe el Romano wants to be with the girl only for the money that marrying her will provide. Even her sister, Magdalena, believes that Angustias is an old, sickly woman and has never stood out for merits superior to her other sisters.


She is the one who is together with her mother Bernarda at the moment when she decides to attempt against the life of Pepe el Romano, threatening him with a shotgun, for all the damage caused.

In addition to everything, Martyrdom, is the one who tells Adela that Pepe had died, despite this being a total lie. Her reaction is because she wants her younger sister to suffer for loving Pepe el Romano. Martirio doesn't want Pepe and Adela to get together, because she intensely hates her sister and doesn't want to see her happy.

On the other hand, it is important to mention that Martirio is infatuated with Pepe el Romano, which is why she steals Angustias's portrait of him, with the intention of sleeping with the photograph.

When Angustias suspects the action taken by his sister, he asks her, but she fervently denies it. After this, Poncia decides to search through Martirio's things and when she finds her portrait, she informs Bernarda of the situation.

His mother asks why he does this, but Martirio denies his feelings for Pepe el Romano, excusing himself by saying that he was simply looking to play a joke on his sister Angustias.


This character reflects sadness, depression and in turn many tears shed. At the moment when Magdalena talks about her wedding with her family, she expresses that she prefers anything before continuing day to day in this dark house.

She does not have a good life, in addition to that, she expresses her dislike for the attitudes of women towards each other. Magdalena, she lives in constant suffering for being a woman. She is the one who most affected him among her sisters the death of her father. Well, as Poncia expressed it, she was the only one who came to love her father.

Important to know

Therefore, the author handles the environment of this work under symbology. Most of the names are Roman and are associated with kindness, as is the case with Amelia. Similarly highlight the nobility with Adela. Others such as Prudence, which is part of the cardinal virtues.

Similarly, the meaning of the Poncia and its allusion to Pontius Pilate. Also Pepe el Romano that relates it to the name of Romilla, which is part of the municipality of Chauchina.

Featured Representations

These are the most outstanding representations of the work La casa de Bernarda Alba:

In Spain

The La Catátula Theater of Rehearsal, which is located in Madrid and premiered the work in 1950. Its main characters were played by Amparo Reyes, who represented Bernarda Alba. On the other hand, Antonia Herrera who was Poncia.

In addition to this, there is the Teatro Goya, which is also in Madrid and premiered La casa de Bernarda Alba in 1964. It was directed by Juan Antonio Bardem and among the outstanding performances was Cándida Losada as Bernarda Alba.

The Zorrilla Theater in Valladolid, in 1976. Also the Estudios Alarcón Theater in Granada, published in 1978. España Theater in Madrid in 1984. Also the María Guerrero Theater in Madrid in 1992.

Similarly, it was performed at the María Guerrero Theater in Madrid again in 1998, but this time those who performed it were María Jesús Valdés who played Bernarda Alba, Julieta Serrano who was Poncia and Gloria Muñoz as Angustias.


In 2005, La casa de Bernarda Alba was performed at the Centro Cultural de la Villa in Madrid. In it, Margarita Lozano was Bernarda Alba, María Galiana as Poncia, Adriana Ugarte as Adela, Nutria Gallardo, Ruth Gabriel, Mónica Cano and Aura Sánchez were also part of the play. In addition to this, Amelia Ochandiano was its director.

Naves del Español published it in Madrid in 2009. Nuria Espert, who was Bernarda Alba, Rosa María Sardá as Poncia, Rosa Vila, Marta Marco, Nora Navas, Rebeca Valls and Almudena Navas also played characters. In addition to this, its director was Luis Pasqual.

The Spanish theater in Madrid for 2010 was the last time La casa de Bernarda Alba was performed in Spain. In this, the interpretation of women was taken by the women's group of El Vacie, which is the oldest town of chabalist origin in Europe, specifically in Seville.

In addition, people of gypsy and agraph origin were taken into account. It is important to mention that it was directed by Pepa Gamboa and all this work received special recognition.

In Latin America

It was performed at the Teatro Avenida in Buenos Aires and premiered on March 8, 1945. It was performed by Margarita Xirgu who was performed by Bernarda Alba, Antonia Herrero was Poncia, Teresa Serrador was Carmen Caballero, Teresa Pradas, Pilar Muñoz, Isabel Pradas, Susana Canales, María Gámez, Emilia Milan and Luz Barrialo were part of the work.

Similarly, the Rafael Solana Theater was responsible for premiering the work in Mexico in 2002. It was performed for Ofelia Guilmain who was Bernarda Alba, Laura Zapara who was Martirio. Olivia Bucio as Magdalena, Azela Robinson as Angustias, Angélica Vale as Adela, María Rubio as Poncia and Aura Molino as María Josefa.

In other languages

Champs Elysees Theater in Paris in 1945.

Similarly the Stockholm Theater in 1947.

New Theater in Milan for 1947.

In 1947 at Stadttheater Basel.

Paris Theater in 1948.

Also at the ANTA Playhouse Theater, Broadway, New York in 1951.

Theater of the Ambigu Comique in Paris in 1957.

Théatre Récamier in Paris for 1996.

Similarly the Odéon Theater in Paris.

Lyric Theater Hammersmith in London for 1986.

Morocco Theater in 2004.

Royal National Theater in London in 2005.

Naples Theater Festival for 2011.


The house of Bernarda Alba has versions in the cinema, television and in turn of the theater and opera that are the following:

At the cinema

La casa de Bernarda Alba was made to be released in 1982. The film is from Mexico and was directed by Gustavo Alatriste. The interpretation is based on Amparo Rivelles as Bernarda Alba, Magda Guzmán, Rosenda Monteros, Marta Zamora, Isabela Corona and Alicia Montoya.

On the other hand, in 1987, La casa de Bernarda Alba, was a film directed by Mario Camus. In addition to this, he was played by Irene Gutiérrez Caba who was Bernarda Alba, Florinda Chico de Poncia. Similarly were Ana Belén, Vicky Peña, Mercedes Lezcano and Enriqueta Carballeira. It was carried out from 1982 to 1987.

In 1991, a new version of La casa de Bernarda Alba called Rukmavati ki Haveli was made in India, directed by Govind Nihlani.

in TV

In Italy, a television version of La casa de Bernarda Alba was made, which was published in 1971. It was directed by Daniele D Anza and its interpretations were by Laura Belli, Giuliana Calandra, Nora Ricci, Cesarina Gheraldi, Wanda Benedetti, Giulia Lazzarini.

On the other hand, in Mexico the version of La casa de Bernarda Alba was made in 1974. It was performed by Ofelia Guilmain who was Bernarda Alba, Ofelia Medina as Adela, Diana Bracho as Amelia, Rosenda Montero as Angustias, Lucia Guilmáin as Martirio. As well as Beatriz Sheridan and Ada Carrasco with María Josefa.

in theater

It is important to mention that a reduced version of La Casa de Bernarda Alba was made specifically for four actresses. It has a time lapse of fifty-five minutes.

In addition to this, it has aspects totally full of fidelity to the actions related to the original work carried out by Federico García Lorca. It is important to mention that the person who made this version was Marc Egea.

in opera

Bernarda Albas Haus that was made for 2000. This was a work made in inspiration of the original and in turn translated into German. The music was by Aribert Reimann.

Bernarda Alba's house from 2007 was directed by Julio Ramos, who is totally linked to the original work. His music was by Miguel Ortega.

The house of Bernarda Alba was made for 2019. The direction was by Candad Svich, it was inspired by the original story and in turn it was translated into the English language. The music was provided by Griffin Candy.


Federico García Lorca was inspired by Agustina González López from Granada in his work La Zapatera. Specifically in the character of Amelia, she even had the same name. Which led him to be completely inspired by the protagonist of his plays related to La zapatera prodigiosa.

Federico Garcia Lorca: author

He was born on June 5, 1898 in the Granada municipality of Fuete Cowboys, in Spain. He had a family that had a really comfortable economy. His name at baptism was Federico del Sagrado Corazón de Jesús García Lorca.

He developed as a poet, playwright and prose writer of Spanish origin. He is assigned under the generation of 27. In addition to this, he had the greatest influence and popularity of his time, thus standing out as a writer of Spanish literature.

He correctly expressed the atmosphere of the XNUMXth century, and for this reason he stood out as a playwright at the hands of Valle Inclán and Buero Vallejo. It is important to mention that he was assassinated a few weeks after the coup that took place in his nation, which brought with it the civil war in Spain.

Everything you are looking for literature can be found on this blog. That is why I invite you to go through the following articles and thus learn a little more about literature:

William Shakespeare and his books

Books Paulo Freire

The content of the article adheres to our principles of editorial ethics. To report an error click here.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *



  1. Responsible for the data: Actualidad Blog
  2. Purpose of the data: Control SPAM, comment management.
  3. Legitimation: Your consent
  4. Communication of the data: The data will not be communicated to third parties except by legal obligation.
  5. Data storage: Database hosted by Occentus Networks (EU)
  6. Rights: At any time you can limit, recover and delete your information.