Hey everyone! Sorry that I haven’t posted at all for a very long time but I got caught up with a lot of work and also had a lot of debate tournaments in the last few months. Here’s the next book review!
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Age Recommended: 14 and up
This book was part of a reading assignment that I had in English class recently. I enjoyed it immensely because of the way the author made the reader sympathize with the main character’s situation, even though he was portrayed in a bad light. This book was actually written during the Renaissance period around 1635 and was one of the more famous Spanish works.
Segismundo has been trapped in a dungeon simce he was born. “A man among beasts and a beast among men”, he has nowhere to go and nobody to talk to except his jailer, Clotaldo.
However, one day, a young woman, Rosaura, and her servant stumble upon Segismundo when searching for a person. Segismundo immediately falls in love with Rosaura, with her being the first person that he has ever seen besides Clotaldo. He professes that since seeing her is death, not seeing her would give him something far worse, life, because giving life to an unfortunate man is like giving death to a fortunate one.
“pero véate yo y muera;
que no sé, rendido ya,
si el verte muerte me da.
el no verte qué me diera.
fuera, más que muerte fiera,
ira, rabia, y dolor fuerte;
fuera vida; de esta suerte
su rigor he ponderado,
pues, dar vida a un desdichado
es dar a un dichoso muerte.”
Soon after, Segismundo is freed from his jail cell as a test to see if he can control himself out of shackles or not. If he can, he will be King. But if not, he will see nothing but darkness for the rest of his days.
If you would like to read this book, you can purchase it here – this is a dual language version with both English and Spanish: Life Is a Dream/La Vida es Sueño