Pedro Calderón de la Barca

Pedro Calderón de la Barca was a renowned Spanish playwright, poet, and writer of the Spanish Golden Age. He is best known for his plays, particularly 'Life is a Dream' (La vida es sueño), which explore complex themes of reality, illusion, and human existence.


This list of books are ONLY the books that have been ranked on the lists that are aggregated on this site. This is not a comprehensive list of all books by this author.

  1. 1. Life Is a Dream

    "Life is a Dream" is a philosophical allegory regarding the human situation and the mystery of life. The play follows the story of Segismundo, Prince of Poland, who has been imprisoned in a tower by his father, King Basilio, following a dire prophecy that the prince would bring disaster to the country and death to the King. Basilio briefly frees Segismundo but returns him to the tower when the prince proves violent and unruly. The story explores themes of free will, fate, power and the thin line that separates reality from dreams.

    The 1053rd Greatest Book of All Time
  2. 2. The Mayor Of Zalamea

    The play is a Golden Age Spanish drama that explores themes of honor, justice, and social class. Set in a small village, the story revolves around a wealthy farmer who is appointed as the mayor and faces a moral dilemma when his daughter is dishonored by a visiting army captain. The farmer's struggle for retribution and the captain's disregard for the local populace's rights lead to a dramatic confrontation. The narrative delves into the tension between civilian and military authority, the rigid honor code of the era, and the quest for personal and communal justice, culminating in a powerful examination of the human condition and the complexities of societal roles.

    The 6195th Greatest Book of All Time
  3. 3. The Mighty Magician

    "The Mighty Magician" is a captivating tale of love, deception, and the supernatural set in a mythical version of the Middle Ages. The story revolves around the powerful magician Cyprian, who falls desperately in love with the beautiful Justina. Despite his command over dark forces and his pact with the devil, Cyprian finds his spells useless against Justina's virtuous heart and Christian faith. As the drama unfolds, the magician is torn between his desire for earthly love and the realization of the higher spiritual truths that Justina embodies. The play explores themes of redemption, the conflict between good and evil, and the ultimate power of faith over magic.

    The 6195th Greatest Book of All Time
  4. 4. The Doctor Of His Own Honor

    The play is a tragic drama set in 17th-century Spain, revolving around the themes of honor, love, and vengeance. It tells the story of a nobleman who becomes consumed by jealousy and the desire to uphold his family honor after suspecting his wife of infidelity. His obsessive quest for revenge leads him down a dark path, resulting in a series of tragic events that challenge the societal norms and personal values of the characters involved. The narrative explores the destructive power of honor-bound duty and the moral complexities of justice, ultimately questioning the true cost of maintaining one's reputation at the expense of compassion and humanity.

    The 6195th Greatest Book of All Time