Maria of Aragon, sister to Joanna of Castile and Catherine of Aragon gave birth to a son 7 June 1502. His birth was marked by a special court drama created by Gil Vicente known as “the Troubadour”. He was the Chief dramatist of Portugal and is sometimes called the Portuguese Plautus. It was his job to entertain the royal family with his plays. He created this piece Monologue of the Cowherd to celebrate John III’s birth. Maria of Aragon would become his patron for the rest of her life. The play was shown one day after the prince was born in the rooms of Maria of Aragon in the presence of the King Manuel I, Queen Maria of Aragon, former Queen of Portugal and widow of John II Leonor of Viseu, and the King’s mother Beatriz of Portugal.
O Monólogo do vaqueiro (Monologue of the Cowherd), as it would have been performed by Gil Vicente himself by Alfredo Rogue Gameiro.
The play was an adaption of the Adoration of the Shepherds and included offerings of simple rustic gifts like cheese to the future king, of whon great achievements were expected. The play was a hit and the queen requested that he would repeat the same play for Christmas but Gil Vicente had a whole new play ready by Christmas.
He would write many more plays poems and books during his life and continued to serve John III after his mom’s death. He also was one of the very few people that could get away with criticizing society and even the church without grave problems with the inquisition thanks to his royal protectors. In that way he was also a bit like a court jester. Though he wrote many patriotic and religious plays to make up for that as well.
buenas noches mis amigos, Hilde