Spain’s artistic Golden Age produced Cervantes’s great novel, Don Quijote, the sublime poetry of Quevedo and Góngora, and nurtured the prodigious talent of Velázquez, and yet it was the theatre that captured the imagination of its people. Men and women of all social classes flocked to the new playhouses to see and hear the latest offerings of their favourite dramatists, and to be seen and heard. As well as dealing with the lives and major works of the most significant playwrights of the period — Lope de Vega, Tirso de Molina, Miguel de Cervantes, Calderón de la Barca — the Companion focuses on other aspects of the growth and maturing of Golden Age theatre, reflecting the interests and priorities of modern scholarship. These include: the sixteenth-century origins of the comedia nueva; the lesser-known dramatists, including women playwrights; life in the theatre; the Corpus Christi street theatre and minor genres; performance studies; and the critical reception of the drama. The Companion also includes a guide to comedia versification, a full bibliography and advice on further reading.