Life is a Dream

by

Pedro Calderón de la Barca

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Estrella Character Analysis

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 does not wish to marry in order to become Poland’s ruler. Estrella believes that Astolfo is full of “deceit and treachery,” and she knows that he keeps another woman’s portrait in the pendant around his neck. Segismundo is immediately taken by Estrella’s beauty, and after he is made king, he takes her as his wife and makes her the queen.

Estrella Quotes in Life is a Dream

The Life is a Dream quotes below are all either spoken by Estrella or refer to Estrella. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Fate vs. Free Will Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Dover Thrift Editions edition of Life is a Dream published in 2012.
Act One Quotes

By Clorilene my wife
I had an unlucky son,
during whose gestation the heavens
exhausted their miracles
even before he emerged into the lovely light
from the living grave
of the womb (because birth
and death are similar).
Infinite times his mother,
amid the visions and delirium
of dreams, saw her entrails
being burst by a bold
monster in human shape;
dyed in her blood,
he was killing her, born
to be the human viper of the age.

Related Characters: Basilio (speaker), Segismundo, Astolfo, Estrella
Page Number: 18
Explanation and Analysis:

The day of her delivery arrived
and, the forecasts coming true
(because evil forecasts never lie,
or, if so, only belatedly),
he was born at such an astrological conjunction
that the sun, tinged with its blood,
was fiercely entering
into a joust with the moon,
and, with the earth for their barrier,
the two celestial lamps
were struggling light to light,
since one cannot say “hand to hand.”
The greatest, most terrifying
eclipse ever suffered by
the sun from the time when it bloodily
bewailed the death of Christ,
was this one: because the globe,
drowned in living flames,
seemed to be suffering
its final paroxysm.

Related Characters: Basilio (speaker), Segismundo, Astolfo, Estrella
Page Number: 18-9
Explanation and Analysis:

I, referring to my books,
found in them, and in all things,
that Segismundo would be
the most insolent man,
the most cruel prince,
and the most impious monarch,
through whom his kingdom would come
to be fragmented and divided,
a school for treason
and an academy of vice;
and that he, carried away by his fury,
amid fearful crimes,
would one day set his foot
on me, and that I, surrendering
would find myself groveling before him
(with what anguish I say this!),
the gray hairs of my beard
serving as a carpet to his feet.

Related Characters: Basilio (speaker), Segismundo, Rosaura/Astraea, Astolfo, Estrella
Page Number: 19
Explanation and Analysis:

Well, I, lending credence
to soothsaying fate,
which forecast harm to me
in dire predictions,
decided to lock up
the wild beast that had been born,
to see whether a wise man
can prevail over the stars.

Related Characters: Basilio (speaker), Segismundo, Clotaldo, Astolfo, Estrella
Page Number: 19-20
Explanation and Analysis:

The third and final factor
is the realization that it was a tremendous mistake
to lend easy credence
to the predictions of events;
because, even if his nature
is inclined toward outrages,
perhaps it won’t overcome him,
since even the most dire fate,
the most violent inclination,
the most evil planet,
merely dispose our free will in a certain direction,
but never compel it in that direction.

Related Characters: Basilio (speaker), Segismundo, Astolfo, Estrella
Page Number: 21
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Life is a Dream LitChart as a printable PDF.
Life is a Dream PDF

Estrella Character Timeline in Life is a Dream

The timeline below shows where the character Estrella appears in Life is a Dream. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act One
Morality, Honor, and Vengeance  Theme Icon
At the palace in Warsaw, Astolfo approaches Estrella, who has just entered with her ladies-in-waiting. Astolfo flatters Estrella, comparing her to Athena and... (full context)
Dreams vs. Reality Theme Icon
Morality, Honor, and Vengeance  Theme Icon
Astolfo reminds Estrella that their uncle, King Basilio, is childless and has no one to take the throne... (full context)
Fate vs. Free Will Theme Icon
Morality, Honor, and Vengeance  Theme Icon
As Basilio enters, both Astolfo and Estrella plead their case to ascend the throne. Basilio assures them that they will be treated... (full context)
Fate vs. Free Will Theme Icon
Morality, Honor, and Vengeance  Theme Icon
Basilio tells Estrella and Astolfo that there are a few important factors to remember. First, Basilio loves the... (full context)
Fate vs. Free Will Theme Icon
Morality, Honor, and Vengeance  Theme Icon
...prison. Lastly, if Segismundo must be returned to prison, then Basilio will join Astolfo and Estrella in marriage and present them to the people as the new king and queen. (full context)
Morality, Honor, and Vengeance  Theme Icon
...bring Segismundo to the palace, and the people yell out for their prince. As Astolfo, Estrella, and the people exit, Clotaldo enters with Rosaura and Clarín. Clotaldo immediately asks to speak... (full context)
Dreams vs. Reality Theme Icon
Morality, Honor, and Vengeance  Theme Icon
...is not what she seems, and she says that if Astolfo has come to marry Estrella, then he has definitely insulted her. (full context)
Act Two
Dreams vs. Reality Theme Icon
Morality, Honor, and Vengeance  Theme Icon
...her name, and is posing as Clotaldo’s niece. She is being treated as one of Estrella’s ladies-in-waiting, and she is looking forward to the moment when Clotaldo avenges her honor. Suddenly,... (full context)
Fate vs. Free Will Theme Icon
...further. He doesn’t see how he has possibly disrespected Astolfo, but he is distracted as Estrella enters the room. She greets Segismundo warmly, and Clarín introduces her as Segismundo’s cousin. Segismundo... (full context)
Fate vs. Free Will Theme Icon
Estrella yells out for help, and Astolfo tries to convince Segismundo to calm down, but Segismundo... (full context)
Dreams vs. Reality Theme Icon
...actually dreaming, but Segismundo refuses to believe him. As Basilio and Segismundo bicker, Astolfo and Estrella exit, and Rosaura enters, dressed as a lady-in-waiting.    (full context)
Dreams vs. Reality Theme Icon
Morality, Honor, and Vengeance  Theme Icon
...his prison cell and asks her name. Rosaura says only that she is one of Estrella’s ladies-in-waiting, and Clotaldo comes back into the room. (full context)
Fate vs. Free Will Theme Icon
Dreams vs. Reality Theme Icon
Morality, Honor, and Vengeance  Theme Icon
...to Clotaldo’s aid. As Astolfo and Segismundo draw their swords, Basilio enters the room with Estrella. Segismundo threatens to kill Astolfo, too, and he tells Basilio that he will get revenge... (full context)
Morality, Honor, and Vengeance  Theme Icon
Basilio and Clotaldo exit, but Estrella and Astolfo stay behind. Astolfo claims that he isn’t surprised that Segismundo has behaved so... (full context)
Dreams vs. Reality Theme Icon
Estrella notices Rosaura. “Astraea!” she cries, calling Rosaura by the name Clotaldo has given her disguise.... (full context)
Fate vs. Free Will Theme Icon
Dreams vs. Reality Theme Icon
Estrella exits, and Rosaura is distraught. No one has ever been forced to endure such misfortune,... (full context)
Dreams vs. Reality Theme Icon
Morality, Honor, and Vengeance  Theme Icon
...tells Astolfo that she doesn’t know what he is talking about. She only knows that Estrella has ordered her to wait for him and retrieve a portrait. Astolfo tells Rosaura that... (full context)
Dreams vs. Reality Theme Icon
Rosaura quickly comes up with a lie. She tells Estrella that when she ordered her to get the portrait from Astolfo, it reminded her that... (full context)
Fate vs. Free Will Theme Icon
Morality, Honor, and Vengeance  Theme Icon
Estrella orders Astolfo to give her the portrait and snatches it from his hand. She looks... (full context)
Act Three
Fate vs. Free Will Theme Icon
Morality, Honor, and Vengeance  Theme Icon
Estrella enters. Basilio must get ahold of the uprising, she warns, or Poland is sure to... (full context)
Dreams vs. Reality Theme Icon
...him at the prison dressed as a man, and the second time as one of Estrella’s ladies-in-waiting. Now she comes to him as both man and woman, dressed in fine clothing... (full context)
Fate vs. Free Will Theme Icon
Morality, Honor, and Vengeance  Theme Icon
Astolfo has come to Poland to marry Estrella, and Rosaura is heartbroken. Violante convinced Rosaura to follow Astolfo to Poland and defend her... (full context)
Fate vs. Free Will Theme Icon
Dreams vs. Reality Theme Icon
Morality, Honor, and Vengeance  Theme Icon
...is indeed royal, Astolfo agrees to marry her, and Segismundo declares that he shall marry Estrella and make her his queen. Basilio is shocked by Segismundo’s goodness. Segismundo claims that he... (full context)