CUEVA, Juan de la, hoo-arisda li kwi'va, Spanish poet: b. Seville about 1550; d. 1609. Little is known about his life. He spent sev eral years in Mexico where he was a sort of private secretary to his brother Claudio, one of the principal officers of the Inquisition. He also lived for sometime in the Canary Islands. When in Spain he made his home in Seville, which had already become a great literary and dramatic centre. But in 1606 he went to Cuenca. A poet attempting all forms, he excelled most as a dramatist, and is one of the founders of Spanish national drama, and one of the most influential of the predecessors of Lope de Vega. He was one of the most successful and popular dramatists of his day ; but it is as an innovator that he is of most interest to the student of Spanish literature. He influenced Guillin Castro. y Belvis, who, in his turn, influenced the literature of France and England. Cueva intro duced the historical drama; he made use of the old romances, turning them into dramas; and he forecast the Consedia de capa y espada. He
used, in the drama, material forms not before employed in it. With a free hand he attempted to reform the drama; and in a measure, he was successful. He also introduced the libertine type which Castro exploited so successfully afterward. In a volume of (Works' (1582), he published a number of lyric poems, sonnets, songs and elegies, including the of Venus Over His greatest epic is (The Conquest of (1603). He wrote four tragedies, one of them on (The Sack of Rome) by the Constable Bourbon; and 10 comedies, one of the best being (The Aged Con sult Mendez Pidal, R, 'I.' Epopee Castillane a travers la litterature espagnole> (Paris 1910) ; Ochoa, E. de, del teatro (Vol. I, Paris 1838) ; Walberg, E., (Juan de la Cueva et son Exemplar (Paris 1910).