Life is a Dream


Pedro Calderón de la Barca

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Life is a Dream Characters


Segismundo is King Basilio’s son and the protagonist of Life is a Dream. After a prophecy claims that Segismundo will be an evil tyrant, Basilio locks him up in a secret prison, and… read analysis of Segismundo


Rosaura is a noblewoman from Muscovy, Astolfo’s former lover, and Clotaldo’s daughter. Rosaura comes to Poland to find Astolfo and restore her honor by getting revenge on him, but her hippogriff drops her… read analysis of Rosaura/Astraea


Clotaldo is Segismundo’s jailer, Basilio’s faithful servant, and Rosaura’s father. When Clotaldo is first introduced, he responds to two intruders in the secret prison and discovers that one, who unsheathes the swordread analysis of Clotaldo


Basilio is the King of Poland and Segismundo’s father. Basilio is a “learned” man, especially in science and mathematics, and he hopes to use his knowledge to overcome fate. When Segismundo is born under… read analysis of Basilio


Astolfo is King Basilio’s nephew, Segismundo’s cousin, and Rosaura’s former lover. Astolfo is the Duke of Muscovy, and he comes to Poland to convince his uncle, whom Astolfo believes to be childless… read analysis of Astolfo
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Clarín is Rosaura’s servant. Clarín is incredibly talkative, as his name—which is derived from the word clarion, or trumpet—suggests, and he frequently interrupts to tell jokes or offer insightful humor. He accompanies Rosaura… read analysis of Clarín


Estrella is a princess, King Basilio’s niece, and Astolfo’s love interest. Like her cousin Astolfo, Estrella wants to ascend the throne when she believes her uncle to be childless. However, unlike Astolfo, she… read analysis of Estrella


Violante is a noblewoman from Muscovy and Rosaura’s mother. When Violante is young and beautiful, Clotaldo seduces her on a trip to Muscovy, stealing her honor and leaving her pregnant and alone. Before he… read analysis of Violante

The Servant

A servant at Basilio’s palace in Warsaw. When Segismundo wakes as the prince of Poland and runs amok, threatening kill everyone and generally acting in an inappropriate way, the servant attempts to calm Segismundo… read analysis of The Servant