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In The House of Bernarda Alba, a tyrannical matriarch rules over her house and five daughters, cruelly crushing their hopes and needs. The other plays here also portray female characters whose desires are tragically and violently frustrated: a woman's longing for a child in Yerma, and a bride's yearning for her lover in Blood Wedding. All appeal for freedom and sexual and social equality, and are also passionate defences of the imagination: in Christopher Maurer's words, 'poetic drama unsurpassed by any writer of our time'.

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