What atmosphere does Lorca create in Blood Wedding and how does he create it?

The classical and highly acknowledged play Blood Wedding by Federico Garcia Lorca delivers many symbols and similes which communicates the themes of the play and also create an atmosphere which Lorca directs as he wants it. With an excellent skill of writing Lorca draws the audience into the surreal play with this intense atmosphere. It also makes the spectators understand the deeper meaning of the tale.
The atmosphere in the play is ever changing. It starts out as a heavy dark sinister foreboding, the semi-subconscious sense that death will take place in the play with the mentioning of the knife. When it is known that a marriage is to take place the atmosphere is slightly lifted in the joyous occasion. However Lorca quickly shows the conflicts that are taking place within Leonardo and the Bride, and also between them, and the now almost obvious menace that hangs over the setting.
The realisation of Leonardo and the Bride’s act, confirming the growing tension, now gives expectations of the murder that has been suspected from the start. With the introduction of the Beggar and the Moon there is a violent and an intimidating atmosphere that is abruptly replaced by the calm sorrow of the last scene. It is easy to see how contradicting and profoundly complex the atmospheres are to each other through each scene, which then gives each more attention from the audience because of this.

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In the beginning when the Bridegroom and Mother are talking about something as common as the every-day job of going out to gather food it does not indicate any tension that will soon appear. However as soon as Mother curses the knife,
“Damn the knife, damn them all and the devil who brought them into the world…”
(Act 1, Scene 1)
it is immediately clear that knife it something much more sinister than simply to cut grapes. The sudden contradiction and the fact that this particular symbol will dominate the play strongly marks the dark atmosphere. The constant mentioning of death indicates that this is, as Lorca meant to say, inevitable. This menacing atmosphere never leaves, but stays in the background through the play, since it is obvious that death will sooner or later take place.
The tension rises when marriage is mentioned and it is immediately very clear that conflicting forces are behind these events. Leonardo and the Bride’s apparent dislike to their marriages which is seen very early on with Leonardo’s outbursts,
“Why can’t you just shut up?”
(Act 1, Scene 2)
and the Bride’s aggressive manner,
“taking her wrists Leave them!”
(Act 1, Scene 3)
confirms that trouble is rising on the horizon and, since the foreshadowing of death is already present, it leaves a breathless feeling, a surge of knowledge of what will happen.
The actions of the characters also contribute to the atmosphere. When Leonardo at the wedding party keeps coming and going it gives him a sort of constant menacing aura that reminds us that this occasion is full of contradiction within.
At the point when the Bride and Leonardo runs off and people starts to chase them it is like an explosion of events that has been predicted from the very beginning of the play. The Moon’s bloody and violent personality and its conversation with the Beggar tell of the murder that by now is already known to come to be.
“Tonight, I want a heart split wide so that I may warm myself. A human heart for me!”
(Act 3, Scene 1)
However, it gives that little extra tension from the fact that the Moon may or may not be there to shine and reveal Leonardo and the Bride.
“Quickly! Light…light everywhere. Do you here? They mustn’t escape.” (Beggar)
(Act 3, Scene 1)
The tale of Blood Wedding is told through usually short sentences. This very plain language gives us the sense of the straightforwardness of the peasant community, which then reassures us of an uneventful and calm society. This makes the different atmospheres in the play stand out, as they are certainly neither uneventful nor calm.
The colours of each scene are also very important to bring forth the right kind of atmosphere and also the moral notions of the play. For example in the first scene the room is coloured yellow. People might interpret the meaning of colours differently but in the western world yellow is generally considered as the colour of treachery and infidelity. It makes a feeling of what might be expected to happen later on in the scene.
There is also used music, “two violins”, to enhance the atmosphere. Personally I would expect the music that is played as a sad melody with a slight echo to it. This would create an atmosphere which would confirm even more the coming murder, but as there a few indications that the Bride and Leonardo might make it, for example the constant reappearing of the Moon, it makes the uncertainty stand out as the audience is suddenly left to wonder what will happen next.
The complete transformation of atmosphere in the last scene is so sudden and unexpected that it leaves a sort of echo of the last scene. With this melancholy calmness it is also easier to bring about the more moralistic purposes of the play without the too fierce tensions that keeps the audience more focused on the events than the message of Blood Wedding. The women weeping and mourning for the dead is also a very good way to give a final feeling that makes the audience understand that the play is over and what consequences it brought, that is death.
Lorca uses many skilful ways to make the atmosphere through Blood Wedding. With gestures, colour, music and symbolism the Spanish writer displays a very artistically body created for the play. It is as though Lorca decided to build up such a tense atmosphere just to make the audience hang on to every single word and so pay more attention to the final point made in the last scene, the fact that the Spanish society is very oppressed and that women are kept captured in it even when the men are dead and gone.

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