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La vida es sueño

En España, hoy es domingo el 19 de noviembre de 2017.
por Calderón de la Barca [1635]

cover

La vida es sueño is the best known and most famous of all the Calderón de la Barca plays. Published in 1635 during the so-called “Golden Age” of Spanish literature. Contemporaries of Calderón de la Barca include Miguel de Cervantes, who wrote Don Quijote, the painter El Greco, Lope de Vega, and others.

The play centers on the character of Segismundo, the Prince of the fictionalized country of Poland. Segismundo’s father, the king Basilio has had his own son imprisoned after interpreting a disturbing prophesy. Segismundo is later released, but fails as a leader and his father has him re-imprisoned, and instructs the jailers to tell Segismundo that the brief period he was released, was in fact, just a dream. Much of the action of the play takes place either in the palace, or in the prison tower where Segismundo is being held.

There is a secondary, or sub-plot within the play as well involving the character of Rosaura, who dresses as a man for much of the play. She has been in exile, returning to Poland to seek vengeance. We soon learn, however, that Clotaldo recognizes the sword she carries as the one he left in Muscovy for his child. Dressed as a boy, Clotaldo assumes that Rosaura is his son, and that he has returned.

El texto

Personajes

  • BASILIO, el rey de Polonia
  • SEGISMUNDO, el príncipe
  • ASTOLFO, duque de Moscovia
  • CLOTALDO, el viejo
  • CLARÍN, el gracioso
  • ESTRELLA, la infanta
  • ROSAURA, la dama
  • SOLDADOS
  • GUARDIAS
  • MÚSICOS
  • ACOMPA˜NAMIENTO
  • CRIADOS
  • DAMAS

Materias específicas a las secciones del drama

Recursos en Internet

  • Resumen y el context histórico en Wikipedia (inglés)
  • Otro resumen: Spain then and now
  • Video del Estudio 1, Televisión Española

    This is a very old version and it is heavily edited, omitting the opening scene between Rosaura and Clarín entirely, as well as shortening many of the longer monologues. Further, it opens with an entirely unnecessary introduction from the production studio (I have set the video to begin with the actual play). Be warned that some of the camera work during the credits may make you seasick!