Much has been written by major critics (Hesse, Wilson, Sloman and Palacios) supporting the belief that "La vida es sueño" is a Christian conversion play. However, comparing the changes in Calderón's hero with Machiavelli's description of the perfect prince, the reader finds an undeniable connection. I argue that "La vida es sueño" is a political play, not a religious one. Segismundo is converted by the events which transpire, but the conversion is from an imperfect to a perfect Machiavellian prince who applies many of the tenets presented in The Prince: the importance of political self-survival, the balance between man and beast, the necessity for evil tactics, and the need for pretending virtue. The article investigates the nature of prudence as it interprets Segismundo's actions from a new perspective. It questions the very existence of the perfect Christian prince. (AH)


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 127-139
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.