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Life Is a Dream by Pedro Calderon Play Essay

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The play "Life is a Dream."
Summary
Life is a Dream by Pedro Calderon is the most notable Play of Spain's Golden age.
Through the Play, Calderon displays the problem people have of differentiating between
delusion and reality. The Play is set in a mythological form of Poland's kingdom and tells readers
the story of a Basilio, the king. He puts his son, Segismundo, in prison when he was born after he
believed his fortune-telling that his unborn son would grow and become a rebel against him and
rule as an oppressor. This drama takes into account the influence of the antagonistic force of free
will and determinism to form and outline its characters and their fate.
In Act One, the author, for example, shapes Rosaura, a lady disguised as a man, through
these opposing forces since she is determined to look for Astolfo, who dishonored her. The issue
of honor and revenge is evident. The Play begins at night in the rural area between Poland and
Russia. The camouflaged Rosaura, accompanied by her chatty servant, Clarin, is traveling on
foot because they have lost their horses. The starting lines: "Are you the fabulous Hippogriff
running in Harness with the wind?" serves as an example of Calderon's figure of speech and
language.

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The salient themes of the Play
The most relevant or outstanding themes of this literature work are dream and certainty,
Free will and determinism, and honor. The heart of "life is a dream" Play is based on the theme
of a dream and how impossible certainty can be achieved. These themes show two significant
problems; how sure can someone be about a thing and the outcomes of uncertainty. Right in the
beginning, the audience is introduced to this theme by the character of Rosaura. She is portrayed
to be a man by how she was dressing. Reading in the first scene, one cannot be sure if she indeed
is a man. Rosaura herself is not sure about who might recognize the sword she carries and even
protect her. Clotaldo, on the other hand, is tortured by the uncertainty of where his loyalty should
lie. At first, he is questioning himself if it should lay with his son or the king; later on, he is still
unsure whether it should be with Rosaura or Astolfo. The theme of dream uncertainty is
extended by the king when he tried to know the fate predicted by the stars about his son if it is
fixed or can be changed. So he freed him and brought him back to the palace. However,
Segismundo's violent and insulting manner finds him again in prison, where Clotaldo tells him
his freedom was a dream. Segismundo utters in his lines:
"What is life? A delirium! What is life? Illusion, A shadow, a fiction whose greatest
good is nothing, because life is a dream! Even dreams are only dreams."
Although after the mysteries in scene one get answers, the theme of dream and
uncertainty prolongs throughout the Play. Through this theme, I have learned the earlier culture
of the people of Spain. It says much about how they used the astrological study to know their
future and how the results of such a study can significantly affect someone's life. Also, the early
people of Spain signified gender identity through clothing by each sex.

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SURNAME 1 Student's Name Professor's Name Course Date The play "Life is a Dream." Summary Life is a Dream by Pedro Calderon is the most notable Play of Spain's Golden age. Through the Play, Calderon displays the problem people have of differentiating between delusion and reality. The Play is set in a mythological form of Poland's kingdom and tells readers the story of a Basilio, the king. He puts his son, Segismundo, in prison when he was born after he believed his fortune-telling that his unborn son would grow and become a rebel against him and rule as an oppressor. This drama takes into account the influence of the antagonistic force of free will and determinism to form and outline its characters and their fate. In Act One, the author, for example, shapes Rosaura, a lady disguised as a man, through these opposing forces since she is determined to look for Astolfo, who dishonored her. The issue of honor and revenge is evident. The Play begins at night in the rural area between Poland and Russia. The camouflaged Rosaura, accompanied by her chatty servant, Clarin, is traveling on foot because they have lost their horses. The starting lines: "Are you the fabulous Hippogriff running in Harness with the wind?" serves as an example of Calderon's figure of speech and language. SURNAME 2 The salient themes of the Play The most relevant or outstanding themes of this literature work are dream and certainty, Free will and determinism, and honor. The heart of "life is a dream" Play is ...
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