Life Is a Dream
The masterwork of Spains preeminent dramatistnow in a new verse translationI have read about twelve of [Calderón’s] plays; some of them certainly deserve to be ranked among the grandest and most perfect productions of the human mind. He exceeds all modern dramatists with the exception of Shakespeare. (Percy Bysshe Shelley)
Life Is a Dream is a work many hold to be the supreme example of Spanish Golden Age drama. Imbued with highly poetic language and humanist ideals, it is an allegory that considers contending themes of free will and predestination, illusion and reality, played out against the backdrop of court intrigue and the restoration of personal honor.
In the mountainous barrens of Poland, the rightful heir to the kingdom has been imprisoned since birth in an attempt by his father to thwart fate. Meanwhile, a noblewoman arrives to seek revenge against the man who deceived and forsook her love for the prospect of becoming king of Poland. Richly symbolic and metaphorical, Life Is a Dream explores the deepest mysteries of human experience.
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