1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Virués, Christóbal de

VIRUÉS, CHRISTÓBAL DE (1550?–1615?), Spanish dramatist and poet, was born at Valencia about the middle of the 16th century, joined the army, fought at Lepanto, and retired to his native place with the rank of captain shortly before 1586. The first-fruit of his leisure was El Monserrate (1587), a dull poem on a repulsive subject which had the honour of being praised by Cervantes, and of being reprinted in 1601. Shortly afterwards Virués returned to Italy and issued a recast of his poem entitled El Monserrate segundo (1602). His Obras trágicas y líricas (1609) include five tragedies: La Gran Semíramis, La Cruel Casandra, Atila furioso, La Infelice Marcela and Elisa Dido. The date of his death is unknown, but he is conjectured to have been alive as late as 1614. Virués belongs to the school of dramatists displaced by Lope de Vega, and his methods were out of fashion before his plays were printed; yet he is an interesting figure, chiefly because of the very extravagances which destroy the effect of his best scenes.