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Copy of Life's a Dream

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Xabier Paya

on 18 July 2013

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Transcript of Copy of Life's a Dream

to Consider

(cc) photo by Metro Centric on Flickr
(cc) photo by Franco Folini on Flickr
(cc) photo by jimmyharris on Flickr
(cc) photo by Metro Centric on Flickr
-Grant Osman
-Erin Fahey

by Pedro Calderon de la Barca
Presented by:
Pedro Calderon De La Barca
Could this play be turned into a modern day play? If so, how would you make Life’s a Dream a modern day play?
What do you think is the significance of the rhyming lines spoken only by a couple of the characters in this play?
"enotes." enotes. N.p., 31 October. Web. 2 Nov
2011. <http://www.enotes.com/life-

"Wikipedia." wikipedia. N.p., 31 October. Web. 2
Nov 2011. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life_is_a_Dream>.
Greenwald, Michael, Roger Schultz, and
Roberto Pomo. The Longman Anthology of
Drama and Theater: A Global Perspective.
San Francisco: Addison-Wesley Educational
Publishers Inc., 2001. 588-589. Print.
Minute History of the Drama. Alice B. Fort & Herbert S.
Kates. New York: Grosset & Dunlap, 1935. p. 31.
Pedro Calderón de la Barca was born in Madrid on January 17, 1600.
His mother past away when he was ten, and his father, who was secretary of the king's treasury, died five years after.
Calderón was educated at the Jesuit College in Madrid, where he prepared to take holy orders.
Before he finished his studies, he enrolled in the university at Salamanca in order to study law.
He did not give much attention to law studies, and began writing poetry instead.
He is recognized as Spain's greatist dramatist, wth his play "Life Is A Dream" being his most well known and most studied of works.
His father wanted young Pedro to become a priest, but he went against his father’s wishes.
Calderon’s personal crisis with faith is the central event of his life, which allows the reader to fully understand the significance of Life’s a Dream.
First appearing in 1635, "Life Is a Dream" has received praise and popularity.
It was first printed in Madrid with its first edition edited in 1636 by Calderón's brother José .
It was reprinted along with all of Calderón's work by his friend and biographer Juan de Vera Tassis y Villaroel in the years immediately following his death in 1681.
It was readily available in Spain and to translators, even when the Spanish drama was in decline.
The second version was written in 1673, which represents a synthesis of his personal, theatrical, and philosophical growth.
Calderón de la Barca, Pedro, Life Is a Dream, translated by
Edward and Elizabeth Huberman, in The Golden Age, selected and introduced by Norris Houghton, Dell,
1963, pp. 86-89.

De Armas, Frederick A., The Return of Astraea: An Astral-
Imperial Myth in Calderón, University Press of Kentucky, 1986, p. 122.

Pico della Mirandola, Giovanni, Oration on the Dignity of Man, available online at http:cscs.umich.edu/∼crshalizi Mirandola (August 31, 2005).

Sloman, A. E., "The Structure of Calderón's La vida es sueño," in Critical Essays on the Theatre of Calderón, edited by Bruce W. Wardropper, New York University Press, 1965, pp. 90-91.
What do you think is the significance of the subplot surrounding Rosaura's character?
What are your thoughts about Segismundo's action of imprisoning the rebel soldier at the end of the play. Was this action just? Unjust? Ironic?
This play has received academic criticism in regards to analyzing its structure, philosophy, and incorporation of mythology. What are your thoughts on how these attributes relate to the play itself?
The period between 1580 and 1680 is called the Golden Age in Spain, when art and literature flourished.
This period Calderon lived in was important because of the discovery and debate over two methods of understanding the world.
The medievl organization of society and thought was formed by a following of doctrines of strict religious and secular order.
The 100 years taking place between 1550 and 1650 were emphasized by power conflicts dealing with politics and religion that were taking place within as well as between nations.
Random Note
"Life Is A Dream" is a verse play.
In it's orignal Spanish translations, the play attempts to be in the form of original verse, however, what makes the play appealing- it's lyricism, linguistic beauty, and poetic invention- often makes the play itself come off as more stiff, difficult, and less interactive than it truly is.
The themes in "Life Is A Dream", especially in terms of the main plot revolving around Segismundo, deal greatly with determining the differenece between what is real and what is an illusion as well as DESTINY versus LIBERTY.
Calderon examines the clashing of DETERMINATION and FREE WILL in regards to the molding of characters and what their outcomes will be.
Such is the case with Segismundo struggling with what is a dream and what is reality, while at the same time battling with the free will he believes he deserves against his father's view of the destiny that has been layed out for him.
Within the subplot, Rosaura is searching for Astolfo, who has dishonored her. Witihin this part of the story the themes of HONOR and VENGEANCE come into play.
Another theme to consider is the level of CERTAINTY within the story. The actions within the play dance around the idea of dreams, leading the audience to not entirely know what to be sure of and what the results of this are.
This is seen in Basilio's testing of Segismundo, where he is drugged and as a result, later on does not know if what happened was reality.
Uncertainty comes before this, however, with Rosaura' disguise as well as Clotaldo's dilemna of action.
Within much of this play perception is deception. The title, itself, reflects these previously mentioned themes.
Style and structure
"Life Is A Dream" is a COMEDIA, which is a form of Spanish drama that was perfected at the start of the 17th century by the Spanish playwright, Lope de Vega and was formalized in his 1609 written discourse, The New Art of Playwriting.
Comedia is verse drama that is made up of three acts. The first act introduces the issues, the second act develops these issues, and lastly, the third act resolves these issues.
This style combines comedy and serious aspects and features intrigue, disguise, swordplay, and battles.
The structure of the play is what is known as GONGORISM, which is an ornate style of verse Calderon wrote in.
The name of this style comes from Luis de Gongora y Argote.
Within this style of writing, mythology, stylistic excess, and complex language/thought are incorporated.
Analysis of the play
The Author
The Setting
The Text
Full transcript