1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Matos Fragoso, Juan de

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MATOS FRAGOSO, JUAN DE (1614?-1689), Spanish dramatist, of Portuguese descent, was born about 1614 at Alsito (Alemtejo). After taking his degree in law at the university of Evora, he proceeded to Madrid, where he made acquaintance with Perez de Montalbán, and thus obtained an introduction to the stage. He quickly displayed great cleverness in hitting the public taste, and many contemporaries of superior talent eagerly sought his aid as a collaborator. The earliest of his printed plays is La Defensa de la fé y principe prodigioso (1651), and twelve more pieces were published in 1658. But though his popularity continued long after his death (January 4, 1689), Matos Fragoso’s dramas do not stand the test of reading. His emphatic preciosity and sophistical insistence on the “point of honour” are tedious and unconvincing; in La Venganza en el despeño, in Á lo que obliga un agravio, and in other plays, he merely recasts, very adroitly, works by Lope de Vega.