The most famous of all Calderon's varied and romantic dramas, this seventeenth-century masterpiece by the great Spanish playwright explores the conflict between free will and predestination as it focuses on the life of Segismundo, a Polish prince imprisoned at birth by his father, the King. The monarch's heartless action, precipitated by astrologers who predict the boy will one day usurp the throne, paves the way for a series of events that turn the son against the father and lead to rebellion. Years later, following a revolution and the peasants' seizure of power, the grim prophecy uttered at the Prince's birth threatens to become a painful reality. For this edition, Stanley Appelbaum has written an informative introduction and an excellent new literal translation that appears on pages facing the Spanish original. A valuable text for students of Spanish language and literature, this volume will delight any reader interested in classics from Spain's Golden Age of drama.