Pedro Calderon de la Barca was born in Madrid in the year 1600. His family belonged to the old Castilian nobility, and sprang from the valley of Carriedo, where stood its ancestral home. The published works of Calderon consist of about one hundred and twenty plays and eighty autos, besides some light interludes, one-act farces, and occasional verses. The faults of Calderon are the faults of his time and of the Spanish stage generally, namely, ailteranismo, exaggerated sentiment, deficient study of character, and artificial complication of detail combined with an ill-considered general scheme. Judged by modern standards, most of Calderon’s secular plays will be found either wanting in moral purposes, or, more frequently, decidedly immoral. Calderon is the greatest Spanish dramatist because he is the greatest poet who adopted the dramatic form, but he does not, like Shakespeare, stand alone among his contemporaries.