Life is a Dream

Read by LibriVox Volunteers

Life Is a Dream (La vida es sueño) is a Spanish-language verse drama by Pedro Calderón de la Barca. First published in 1636, the story focuses on the fictional Sigismund, Prince of Poland, who has been imprisoned in a tower by his father, King Basilius, following a dire prophecy that the prince would bring disaster to the country and death to the King. Basilius briefly frees Sigismund and allows him to take his rightful place at court, but when the prince kills a servant and attempts to rape a lady-in-waiting, the king imprisons him again, persuading him that it was all a dream. But Sigismund is later freed again to lead a rebellion against his father.

The play is a philosophical allegory regarding the human situation and the mystery of life, it's central themes are the conflict between free will and fate, as well as restoring one's honor. Other themes include dreams vs. reality and the conflict between father and son. The play has been described as "the supreme example of Spanish Golden Age drama"

(Summary by Alan Mapstone)

Cast List

Basilius, King of Poland: Algy Pug
Sigismund, his Son: Greg Giordano
Astolfo, Duke of Muscovy: Larry Wilson
Estrella, a Princess: Sonia
Clotaldo, a Nobleman: Beeswaxcandle
Rosaura, a Lady: Jenn Broda
Clarin, her Servant: Inkell
First Soldier: ToddHW
Second Soldier: redrun
First Servant: redrun
Second Servant: ToddHW
Stage Directions: Alan Mapstone
(2 hr 58 min)


Dedication and Dramatis Personae 2:13 Read by Alan Mapstone
Act 1 Scenes 1-4: Tower 26:47 Read by LibriVox Volunteers
Act 1 Scenes 5-8: Court 24:20 Read by LibriVox Volunteers
Act 2 Scenes 1-15: Court 55:00 Read by LibriVox Volunteers
Act 2 Scenes 16-18: Tower 10:48 Read by LibriVox Volunteers
Act 3 Scenes 1-4: Tower 13:20 Read by LibriVox Volunteers
Act 3 Scenes 5-8: Court 11:49 Read by LibriVox Volunteers
Act 3 Scenes 9-14: Open Plain 34:03 Read by LibriVox Volunteers