See soap operas that were inspired by books


Shakespeare, Jane Austen and Jorge Amado have already served as inspiration for successful Brazilian soap operas; check out!

When thinking about audiovisual works inspired by books, the first ones to come to most people’s minds are, in general, films or series. Not surprisingly, it was these different formats that became most popular with productions such as the ‘Harry Potter’ and ‘The Lord of the Rings’ franchises, until adaptation of literary classicslike tales of Shakespeare — with the countless versions of ‘Romeo and Juliet’ — or the dark stories of Edgar Allan Poewhich recently inspired Netflix’s ‘The Fall of the House of Usher’.

+ The excavation that discovered the theater that was the stage for Shakespeare’s plays

However, anyone who believes that Brazil has not promoted adaptations of famous books throughout its audiovisual history is mistaken. And a national difference in the adoption of formats is that, in addition to series and films, we are also well known for soap operas, some of the most famous on TV Globo. With that in mind, check out some iconic ones below. Brazilian soap operas inspired by books:

‘The Carnation and the Rose’

Originally broadcast between June 2000 and March 2001, ‘The Carnation and the Rose‘ is certainly one of Globo’s best-known soap operas, having already been rerun several times in the last two decades.

Created by Walcyr Carrasco (a name that will be recurring on the list) and Mario Teixeirathe production is inspired by the play ‘The Taming of the Shrew‘ (1594), by William Shakespeare — which was also the source for films such as, for example, ’10 Things I Hate About You’ (1999), by Gil Junger.

Adriana Esteves and Eduardo Moscovis as Catarina and Petruchio in ‘O Cravo e a Rosa’ (2000 – 2001) / Credit: Reproduction/TV Globo/Globoplay

The Brazilian production is a troubled romance story between Julião Petruchio and Catarina, the same names adopted by Shakespeare originally. In the old play, we see a Renaissance society, instead of a Brazilian perspective as in the soap opera, but the characters’ personalities remain the same.


In 1975, Globo’s most famous soap opera was certainly ‘Gabriela‘, created by Walter George Durst — and which had a remake in 2012, by Walcyr Carrasco —, a love story between the country girl Gabriela and the Arab Nacib, according to G1. In the classic soap opera, the person who gave life to the protagonist was Sonia Braga; while in the remake, Juliana Paes.

Sônia Braga and Juliana Paes as the character Gabriela, in both versions of the soap opera / Credit: Reproduction/Tv Globo / Reproduction/TV Globo/Globoplay

Anyway, both stories are inspired by the novel’Gabriela clove and cinnamon‘, published in 1958, written by the renowned Brazilian writer Jorge Amado. Set in the mid-1920s, the story portrays the struggle for the material and cultural modernization of Ilhéus, a region of Bahia that was developing at the time thanks to cocoa exports.

‘Stone Ciranda’

Another famous Brazilian soap opera that is inspired by a novel is ‘Stone Ciranda‘. This also had two versions, the first being shown in 1981, starring Eva Wilma; and the second in 2008, with Ana Paula Arósio bringing the character Laura to life.

Scene from 'Ciranda de Pedra', 2008
Scene from ‘Ciranda de Pedra’, from 2008 / Credit: Reproduction/TV Globo

The novels, in turn, are inspired by the book of the same name written by Lygia Fagundes Telles and published in 1954. The story follows Laura, a modern woman dedicated to the arts who, to her misfortune, is oppressed by her husband.


Between June and December 1979, the soap opera ‘Cabocla‘, created by Benedito Ruy Barbosa and with the participation of the musician Fábio Jr. and the actress Gloria Pires as the protagonists Luís Jerônimo and Zuca. This novel also had a second versionin 2004, also from Ruy Barbosa and this time, with Daniel de Oliveira It is Vanessa Giacomo as protagonists.

Scene from 'Cabocla' (2004), with Daniel de Oliveira, Vanessa Giácomo and Jussara Freire
Scene from ‘Cabocla’ (2004), with Daniel de Oliveira, Vanessa Giácomo and Jussara Freire / Credit: Reproduction/TV Globo/Globoplay

The literary inspiration for both versions was the novel of the same name, ‘Cabocla’, published in 1931 and written by Ribeiro Couto. “Jerônimo, a student who dreams of rest in Europe and life in RJ, is sent to Vila da Mata, a village where he discovers a new and happy universe, finding love in a beautiful brunette called Cabocla”, says the synopsis.

‘The Patron Saint’

Once again, the name of Walcyr Carrasco is mentioned in the list: between June 2001 and February 2002, the soap opera ‘The Patroness‘. A portrait of Brazil in its colonial period, the plot was inspired by the classic ‘The Silver Mines‘ (1865), by José de Alencar.

Scene from 'The Patron Saint' (2001 - 2002)
Scene from ‘A Patroeira’ (2001 – 2002) / Credit: Reproduction/TV Globo

As G1 describes, in the plot, in a time marked by gold fever, female submission and the power of the Church, fishermen find an image of Our Lady of Aparecida, and soon become devotees of the miraculous saint. The soap opera features names like Luigi Baricelli, Deborah Secco, Elizabeth Savalla It is Mariana Ximenes.

‘Pride and Passion’

Another very famous Brazilian soap opera inspired by foreign books — yes, in the plural — is ‘Pride and Passion‘. Exhibited in 2018, created by Marcos Bernstein and directed by Fred Mayrinkthe plot is a series of stories and characters from Jane Austenfrom books such as ‘Sense and Sensibility’ (1811), ‘Pride and Prejudice’ (1813), ‘Mansfield Park’ (1814), ‘Emma’ (1815), ‘Northanger Abbey’ (1817) and ‘Lady Susan ‘ (1871).

Nathalia Dill and Thiago Lacerda in 'Pride and Passion' (2018)
Nathalia Dill and Thiago Lacerda in ‘Pride and Paixão’ (2018) / Credit: Reproduction/TV Globo/Globoplay

In the soap opera, Nathalia Dill gives life to Elisabeta, a young libertarian and full of dreams who, in a society where marriage is considered the only possible future for a woman from a good family, finds herself in conflict after falling in love with Darcy (Thiago Lacerda), a very traditional and conservative man. For anyone who is a fan of Jane Austenit is not difficult to see a very direct parallel with ‘Pride and Prejudice’one of his most famous books.

The article is in Portuguese

Tags: soap operas inspired books



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