Pedro Calderon de la Barca

Calderón de la Barca, Pedro

Pedro Calderón de la Barca (pā´ŧħrō käldārōn´ dā lä bär´kä), 1600–1681, Spanish dramatist, last important figure of the Spanish Golden Age, b. Madrid. Educated at a Jesuit school and the Univ. of Salamanca, he turned from theology to poetry and became a court poet in 1622. His more than 100 plays were carefully contrived, subtle, and rhetorical. The earlier plays, of the cloak-and-dagger school, include La dama duende [the lady fairy] and Casa con dos puertas mala es de guardar [the house with two doors is difficult to guard]. His finest work is in his more than 70 autos sacramentales (one-act religious plays), among them El divino Orfeo and A Dios por razón de estado [to God for reasons of state]. Of his philosophical dramas the best known are El mágico prodigioso [the wonderful magician] and La vida es sueño [life is a dream], which deals with the themes of fate, prognostication, and free will. Calderón took holy orders in 1651 and thereafter wrote few plays except the autos, of which he supplied two a year for the Corpus Christi festival.

See studies by S. Madariaga (1920, repr. 1965), J. H. Parker and A. M. Fox (1971), E. Honig (1972), and H. Gerstinger (tr. 1973).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

Allegories of Kingship: Calderon and the Anti-Machiavellian Tradition
Stephen Rupp.
Pennsylvania State University Press, 1996
Calderon's Conundrums, Or: Where Do You Draw the Line?
Sadurski, Wojciech.
Mosaic (Winnipeg), Vol. 28, No. 2, June 1995
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Mirabile Visu: The `Wonderful' World of Calderon
Martin, Vincent.
The Romanic Review, January-March 2000
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Spain: A Short History of Its Politics, Literature, and Art from Earliest Times to the Present
Henry Dwight Sedgwick.
Little, Brown, 1926
Librarian’s tip: Chap. XXXV "Velasquez and Calderon"
The Lion and the Eagle: Interdisciplinary Essays on German-Spanish Relations over the Centuries
Conrad Kent; Thomas K. Wolber; Cameron M. K. Hewitt.
Berghahn Books, 2000
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 5 "The Motifs of Incest and Fratricide in Friedrich Schiller's The Bride of Messina and Their Possible Calderonian Sources"
Absolutism and the Scientific Revolution, 1600-1720: A Biographical Dictionary
Christopher Baker.
Greenwood Press, 2002
Librarian’s tip: "Calderon de la Barca, Pedro (1600-1681)" begins on p. 47
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