Edición de Enrique Rull, profesor de Literatura Española en la UNED
El gran teatro del mundo demuestra la pericia del autor en géneros tan diferentes como el auto sacramental, la comedia filosófica o el drama de honor. Traducido y representado innumerables veces, en todo tiempo y lugar, este auto sacramental ha superado los condicionamientos estéticos de la época en que fue escrito para extender con fuerza un mensaje ya conocido desde los clásicos latinos: la vida no es más que una mera representación en la que nuestro papel está determinado y dura tan poco como ésta, y en la que lo importante es «obrar bien».
Esta edición incluye una introducción que contextualiza la obra, un aparato de notas, una cronología y una bibliografía esencial, así como también varias propuestas de discusión y debate en torno a la lectura. Está al cuidado de Enrique Rull, profesor de literatura española de la Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia.
«¡Ábrase el centro de la tierra, pues que dentro de ella la escena ha de ser!»
Edición de Enrique Rull, profesor de Literatura Española en la UNED
Si Calderón de la Barca es el autor teatral barroco por excelencia, cabe decir que La vida es sueño es la obra que sustancia los grandes temas de este movimiento. La historia del príncipe Segismundo, que sale de la cueva en la que había sido encerrado por su padre para convertirse en rey por un breve lapso de tiempo -un tiempo soñado-, antes de ser devuelto de nuevo a ella, da pie a un complejo drama sobre el libre albedrío, la fugacidad de la vida y la falsedad de las apariencias.
Esta edición incluye un aparato de notas, una introducción que contextualiza la obra, una cronología y una bibliografía esencial, así como también varias propuestas de discusión y debate en torno a la lectura. Está al cuidado de Enrique Rull, profesor titular de literatura española en la Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia.
«Y la experiencia me enseña
que el hombre que vive sueña
lo que es hasta despertar.»
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.
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
These are comedies of intrigue. They turn on mysterious, quarrels, and jealousies, and they abound in complication and misunderstandings, yet in the end all is explained, to the delight of the audience. Muir's long experience with acting and directing and his keen ear for the nuances of the English language, together with his perceptive critical scholarship, have enabled him to produce a text that actors can speak naturally, and that modern audiences can enjoy as did the audiences of seventeenth-century Spain. The graceful, poetical dialogue and the masterly stagecraft of Calderón are undiminished in these deft translations.
The plays featured are From Bad to Worse, The Secret Spoken Aloud, The Worst is Not Always Certain, and The Advantages and Disadvantages of a Name. Ann L. Mackenzie has provided an introduction to each play and notes on the text that will be useful to the actors and directors who seek to present these comedies as they were intended -- on the stage.
Acclaimed for his superb dramatic instincts and philosophical seriousness as well as his extraordinary imagination, Calderón exercised his best qualities in this allegorical play, an exploration of the mysteries of human destiny, the illusory nature of earthly existence, and the struggle between predestination and free will. The story revolves around the moral dilemmas of a Polish prince, unjustly imprisoned by his suspicious father. Against a background of revolution, Calderón builds a dramatic edifice of outstanding theatricality, rich in symbolism and metaphor, expressed in magnificent poetry.
This excellent new English translation is absolutely complete, and as close and direct as possible. Ample footnotes and an informative introductory Publisher's Note enhance the value of its modest price.
In The Mayor of Zalamea, commissioned by the Royal National Theatre, peasants’ honour clashes with military discipline. Life’s a Dream is Calderón’s most famous philosophical play. The Great Theatre of the World is an allegorical work that would originally have been performed in the street to the accompaniment of music and dancing.
Of all Calderon's works, "Life is a Dream" may be regarded as the most universal in its theme. It seeks to teach a lesson that may be learned from the philosophers and religious thinkers of many ages—that the world of our senses is a mere shadow, and that the only reality is to be found in the invisible and eternal. The story which forms its basis is Oriental in origin, and in the form of the legend of "Barlaam and Josaphat" was familiar in all the literatures of the Middle Ages. Combined with this in the plot is the tale of Abou Hassan from the "Arabian Nights," the main situations in which are turned to farcical purposes in the Induction to the Shakespearean "Taming of the Shrew." But with Calderon the theme is lifted altogether out of the atmosphere of comedy, and is worked up with poetic sentiment and a touch of mysticism into a symbolic drama of profound and universal philosophical significance.
LIFE IS A DREAM
Basilio King of Poland.
Segismund his Son.
Astolfo his Nephew.
Estrella his Niece.
Clotaldo a General in Basilio's Service.
Rosaura a Muscovite Lady.
Fife her Attendant.
Chamberlain, Lords in Waiting, Officers,
Soldiers, etc., in Basilio's Service.
The Scene of the first and third Acts lies on the Polish frontier: of the second Act, in Warsaw.
As this version of Calderon's drama is not for acting, a higher and wider mountain-scene than practicable may be imagined for Rosaura's descent in the first Act and the soldiers' ascent in the last. The bad watch kept by the sentinels who guarded their state-prisoner, together with much else (not all!) that defies sober sense in this wild drama, I must leave Calderon to answer for; whose audience were not critical of detail and probability, so long as a good story, with strong, rapid, and picturesque action and situation, was set before them.
Pedro Calderon de la Barca was born in Madrid, January 17, 1600, of good family. He was educated at the Jesuit College in Madrid and at the University of Salamanca; and a doubtful tradition says that he began to write plays at the age of thirteen. His literary activity was interrupted for ten years, 1625-1635, by military service in Italy and the Low Countries, and again for a year or more in Catalonia. In 1637 he became a Knight of the Order of Santiago, and in 1651 he entered the priesthood, rising to the dignity of Superior of the Brotherhood of San Pedro in Madrid. He held various offices in the court of Philip IV, who rewarded his services with pensions, and had his plays produced with great splendor. He died May 5, 1681.
At the time when Calderon began to compose for the stage, the Spanish drama was at its height. Lope de Vega, the most prolific and, with Calderon, the greatest, of Spanish dramatists, was still alive; and by his applause gave encouragement to the beginner whose fame was to rival his own. The national type of drama which Lope had established was maintained in its essential characteristics by Calderon, and he produced abundant specimens of all its varieties. Of regular plays he has left a hundred and twenty; of "Autos Sacramentales," the peculiar Spanish allegorical development of the medieval mystery, we have seventy-three; besides a considerable number of farces.