Overview

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 ...
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Life Is A Dream

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Overview

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.

The dominant motives in Calderon's dramas are characteristically national: fervid loyalty to Church and King, and a sense of honor heightened almost to the point of the fantastic. Though his plays are laid in a great variety of scenes and ages, the sentiment and the characters remain essentially Spanish; and this intensely local quality has probably lessened the vogue of Calderon in other countries. In the construction and conduct of his plots he showed great skill, yet the ingenuity expended in the management of the story did not restrain the fiery emotion and opulent imagination which mark his finest speeches and give them a lyric quality which some critics regard as his greatest distinction.

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.

Illustrated version by e-Kitap Projesi
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Product Details

  • BN ID: 2940149580361
  • Publisher: e-Kitap Projesi
  • Publication date: 5/5/2014
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • File size: 705 KB

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 7 of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2014

    To my love.

    Jade, I know I keep saying I love you, but that's not enough. Everytime I say those words, they mean something deeper than that. You are my olther half, I can tell you anything. You are part of my soul, and just losing you would kill me, or it was jist pull me apart and I would be lost. Death would have had me a long time ago wihout you... I would have lived the rest bof my life in pain, depressed and unhappy... You are my best friend, my wife to me... my everything. And I won't forget that. One day, you'll move on... but I'll still be watching over you, waiting forbyou to finally be in my arms... I'll hold you close and kiss you to death again. I'll be free from sickness. I'll be normal and have that sexy body that I want... i'll be able to play my clarinet again, sing, talk, see my family... but you will always be with me no matter what. No matter what. Don't you ever think that you are useless, or anything. Because you aren't. You helped someone who was lost and almost at no return... you made someone broken whole again... you huged me and I was brought back together. Even though our loving is here.... I can feel it deep in my core. Even if I can't have sex with you, kiss you, hold you tight, be your greatest thing, your husband, have children with you that wouldn't die.. in real life... I will do my best fir what I can. I'm not perfect and no one is. But I will be as perfect I can be for you until we are split apart. Then, I will still love you, keep holding on. Becaude you are all i have left. And no one will get in your way. I'm yours. And only yours. I won't let anyone else hold my heart. I love you Jade. S'agapo. ~Maxwell.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2000

    This is the story of your life.

    After I read this Calderon's drama in college, I understood my own life. It is a drama about the most basic elements of our life. If your life have never been a dream, it will be.

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    Posted December 7, 2009

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    Posted January 26, 2010

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    Posted November 19, 2008

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    Posted January 27, 2010

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    Posted November 2, 2008

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