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In the later seventeenth century, máquina real companies performed full-length religious plays in the corrales de comedia using puppets instead of human actors. Much of their repertoire consisted of comedias de santos affirming the sovereignty of free will. This essay explores the possible dissonance produced among early modern audiences who watched a puppet—seemingly a metonym for manipulation—insist on his free will. Through close reading of a diverse assortment of theatrical, theological, and political texts, I reconstruct the metaphorical meaning of puppet, which turns out to have curiously distinct resonances in the Catholic and Protestant traditions.