Abstract

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)

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Additional Information

ISSN
1944-0928
Print ISSN
0007-5108
Pages
pp. 127-139
Launched on MUSE
2014-01-08
Open Access
No
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