José Echegaray y Eizaguirre (Madrid April 19, 1832 – Madrid September 14, 1916) was a Spanish civil engineer, mathematician, statesman, and one of the leading Spanish dramatists of the last quarter of the 19th century.
Early Life 
José de Echegaray was born into a family of scholars. His father was a professor of Greek. Echegaray attended engineering school besides a degree in economics.
Government Service 
Echegaray also entered politics in later life. He enjoyed an illustrious career in the government sector, being appointed Minister of Public Works and Finance Minister successively.
Literary Career 
Along with the Provençal poet Frédéric Mistral, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1904, making him the first Spaniard to win the prize. His most famous play is El gran Galeoto, a drama written in the grand nineteenth century manner of melodrama. It is about the poisonous effect that unfounded gossip has on a middle-aged man's happiness. Echegaray filled it with elaborate stage instructions that illuminate what we would now consider a hammy style of acting popular in the 19th century. Paramount Pictures filmed it as a silent with the title changed to The World and His Wife. His most remarkable plays are Saint or Madman? (O locura o santidad, 1877); Mariana (1892); El estigma (1895); The Calum (La duda, 1898); and El loco Dios (1900).
Theater had always been the love of José Echegaray's life. His plays reflected his sense of duty, which had made him famous during his time in the governmental offices. Dilemmas centered around a sense of duty and morality are the motif of his plays. He replicated the achievements of his predecessors of the Spanish Golden Age, remaining a prolific playwright. Among his most famous plays are La esposa del vengador (1874) [The Avenger's Wife]; En el puño de la espada (1875) [The Sword's Handle]; En el pilar y en la cruz (1878) [The Stake and the Cross]; and Conflicto entre dos deberes (1882) [Conflict of Duties].
The Echegaray street named after him in Madrid is famed for its Flamenco taverns.
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