Characters

Don Gonzalo: A gentleman of seventy, gouty and impatient

Dona Laura: A pretty, white-haired old lady of about seventy

Petra: Dona Laura’s maid who accompanied her when she went to the park.

Juanito: Don Gonzalo’s servant

Laura Llorente: Dona Laura’s actual name.

Introduction

“A Sunny Morning” is a one-act play by Serafin and Joaquin Alvarez Quintero, brothers and celebrated Spanish playwrights of the early twentieth century. The story is centered on two old lovers now in their 70s meeting at a park and trying to recall their romantic past. The man is Don Gonzalo and the lady is Dona Laura. The play “A Sunny Morning” is a comedy of Madrid in one act, by Serafin and Joaquin Alvarez Quintero.

On a sunny autumn morning in a quiet corner of a park in Madrid, Dona Laura, a graceful, white-haired lady of about seventy, is feeding pigeons in the park. Don Gonzalo, a gentleman of seventy, gouty and impatient enters. Their servants Petra, Dona Laura’s maid, and Juanito come and go nearby.

Summary

Dona Laura And Don Gonzalo meets in the park

On a sunny autumn morning in a quiet corner of a park in Madrid, Dona Laura, a pretty, white-haired lady of about seventy, refined in appearance, was feeding pigeons in the park when Don Gonzalo, a gentleman of seventy, gouty and impatient, enters. Their servants Petra, Dona Laura’s maid, and Juanito come and go nearby.

The conversation between the two seventy-year-olds begins sarcastically, with each accusing the other of encroaching on their private space. Don Gonzalo complains that the priests have taken his bench and says Dona Laura is a “Senile old lady! She ought to be at home knitting and counting her beads.” She finds him “an ill-natured old man!” He resigns himself to “sit on the bench with the old lady.”

A pinch of snuff helps to clear their heads, and they find something in common with alternating sneezes of three times each. Dona Laura confides to the audience, “the snuff has made peace between us.”

Don Gonzalo and Dona Laura become comfortable with each other

They begin to banter back and forth in a more friendly manner. Then Don Gonzalo reads out loud from a book of poems. As they converse, Gonzalo says that he is from Valencia, and to his surprise, Laura reveals that she is from Maricela where she lived in a villa. Gonzalo is startled by the revelation and he says that he knows a woman named Laura Llorente who lived in a villa there, who was perhaps the most beautiful he had ever seen. Both Laura and Gonzalo realize each other to be former lovers. But they pretend not to reveal their identities.

In her youthful days, Dona Laura was known in her locality as ‘The Silver Maiden’. She was fair as the lily, with jet black hair and black eyes. She was like a dream. She was in love with Gonzalo, the gallant lover. He used to pass by on horseback every morning through the rose garden and toss up a bouquet to her balcony which she caught on his way back in the afternoon she would toss the flowers back to him.

But Laura’s parents wanted to marry her off to a merchant whom she disliked. One day there was a quarrel between Gonzalo and the merchant, the suitor. After the duel the young man fled from his hometown to Seville and then to Madrid, being scared of the consequences of a duel with a person highly regarded in that locality. Even though he tried to communicate with Laura through letters, all attempts failed.

Laura and Gonzalo lie about their pasts

Laura and Gonzalo devise stories of their deaths. The old Gonzalo says that he is the cousin of the young man. According to him, the young Gonzalo had to leave his place as he was involved in a fight with a merchant, the suitor of Laura. Then he joined the army and went to Africa where he met with a glorious death.

The old Laura says that she knows the woman named Laura, known as The Silver Maiden’ and that she was her friend during her young age. She also lies that she knows the tragic story of her love affair with a gallant young man named Gonzalo. The old woman reveals that not finding her lover, the young and beautiful Laura committed suicide.

But, in reality, after three months Gonzalo ran off to Paris with a ballet dancer, and Laura, on the other hand, got married after two years. Both realize that they are lying but pretend to be unaware. When the play ends, they agree to meet at the park again, still not acknowledging what they both know to be true.

Conclusion

“A Sunny Morning” is a humorous one-act play in which we see a blend of romance and comedy. The senile old lady is Dona Laura. The ill-natured old man is Gonzalo. But they loved each other but circumstances separated them. They used to be active, agile, romantic, and lively which suits the atmosphere of the sunny morning but now they are inactive, moody, and irritated. But the past experiences make them forget their age and think that it is a sunny morning. Even in the end. The offering of flowers is romantic and comic and many incidents in the story evoke laughter.