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Doctor Alaejos

médico, doctor, gallego, nombre fingido de Pinzón


¿noble?, dama italiana, prima de Lucrecia, cásase con Carlos


duque italiano


pastora, nombre fingido de Alejandra


pastor, nombre fingido de Felipe


criada, cásase con Conrado

Apolo (no habla)

dios, personaje mitológico


pastora, nombre fingido de Lucrecia


noble italiano, caballero, marqués, primo de Lucrecia


caballero italiano


caballero italiano


pastor, nombre fingido de Hortensio


caballero italiano, Duque de Ursino, primo de Lucrecia


caballero italiano




pastor, nombre fingido de Rogerio


caballero italiano

Federico marqués italiano


caballero italiano, ¿noble?

D. Felipe Centellas

caballero, capitán de caballos




¿noble? italiano, viejo, gobernador, tío de Lucrecia

D. Jerónimo Pimentel



caballero italiano,¿ = Julio Ursino?

Julio Ursino

conde italiano


labradora italiana


pastora, nombre fingido de Angela


Condesa de Valencia del Po, italiana, cásase con D. Felipe Centellas

Marco Antonio

conde italiano


pastor, nombre fingido de Conrado


habla, pero no sabemos quién es


pastor, nombre fingido de Carlos

Doctor Parra

médico, doctor, gallego

D. Pedro



apellido español


lacayo, criado (de D. Felipe), gracioso, soldado


marqués italiano

Doctor Racimo

médico, doctor

D. Rogerio

noble italiano, caballero

Doctor Sarmiento

médico, doctor, gallego, hijo del Dr. Parra, padre del Dr. Alaejos


caballero italiano


pastor, labrador, jardinero, villano, rustico, nombre fingido de D. Felipe


caballero italiano

P. anón.: un criado (habla 449a, R II, 1413a); almas en purgatorio y en el infierno (*453b, acot. 4; *1420b, acot. 2; no hablan). 


Lucrecia, an Italian countess, is very fond of Lope de Vega and is especially attracted by the bucolic life of his Arcadia. Felipe is in love with her and she with him, but he's a Spaniard and she's afraid of what the jealousy of all her suitors might lead to if she married a Spaniard, one of the hated enemy. For the time being, therefore, he is dressed as a shepherd called Tirso, playing "Anfriso" to her "Belisarda." He is growing impatient with this situation, however, and she puts him off by explaining that she loves him but cannot risk saying so openly because he's one of the enemy. She suggests that they write to the Duke of Feria asking for his help.

Hortensio, Lucrecia's uncle, urges her to marry because her people are anxious that she marry and have an heir. She responds that she will look over the list of suitors and give her reply that afternoon. As promised, Lucrecia sends her Spanish servant, Angela, that afternoon with a letter for Hortensio to read to her suitors. The letter states that since all of the suitors are worthy she does not wish to offend any by choosing one who is less than perfect.S he then names suitors one by one, pointing out the faults of each, and concludes by saying that because none of them is perfect she will not marry any of them. She adds that she will only marry someone as perfect as Lope's Anfriso of the Arcadia.


Alejandra, Lucrecia's cousin, suspects that Felipe is not really a shepherd. She takes his hand to look for calluses and discovers none. He attempts to explain by saying that he hasn't been working in the fields much lately because he spent a time studying to be a priest. Meanwhile, Lucrecia has witnessed this scene, and, misunderstanding what she sees, becomes jealous of Alejandra. To spite Felipe she tells Carlos that she will marry him. Felipe, believing that Lucrecia wants to marry Carlos, bids her farewell.

The shock of what's happened and Felipe's departure causes Lucrecia to become somewhat unbalanced and she thinks that is really Belisarda. She mopes around and gets furious if anyone denies that she's in Arcadia. Alejandra suspects that she's sad because of Felipe, who is probably really a nobleman. In the meantime Felipe has rejoined his army regiment and (is again accompanied by) Pinzón, his servant. They encounter Pedro, on his way to Milan to tell the Duke about Lucrecia's madness. On hearing this story, Felipe realizes what is wrong with her and he and Pinzón set out to try to help her.

Disguised as a doctor, Pinzón, accompanied by Felipe, gains admittance to Lucrecia's house. In a comical scene Pinzón speaks in fractured Latin, but he manages to convince Hortensio and Carlos that he can cure Lucrecia. He orders a potion prepared and tells the people of the household to humor Lucrecia and dance and sing like shepherds. Lucrecia recognizes Felipe and they arranged to talk later. Lucrecia pretends to be slowly getting cured, but Alejandra is suspicious that all is not what it appears to be.


As Lucrecia's "cure" slowly progresses she and Felipe are awaiting word from the Duke so that they can marry. The others are all "playing Arcadia," as Pinzón has ordered. There is an elaborate scene in which those who used latinized grammar and structure are in Purgatory and those who wrote bad plays and copied from others are in Hell, while Apolo observes all this from Parnassus up above. They all admire this spectacle, which Pinzón set up.

Alejandra confides to Pinzón that she knows who Felipe really is.He explains that Felipe is trying to cure Lucrecia but he really loves Alejandra. Using their Arcadian, not their real names, he promises that soon Felipe will court woo her (Alejandra) and that Lucrecia, jealous, will go to Carlos to try to make Felipe jealous. Then as a part of Lucrecia's "cure" Pinzón will stage the wedding of Alejandra and Felipe, but it will be a real wedding, not a fake one. Lucrecia overhears this conversation and thinks that what Pinzón says is true. When he sees her and realizes what has happened, Pinzón tries to explain to Lucrecia that Alejandra was about to expose them, but she's still dubious.

Felipe enters at this point, just in time to hear Lucrecia telling Pinzón, as she departs, that she's going to marry Carlos. Questioned by Felipe, Pinzón tells him what's happened. Felipe is furious with Pinzón and grabs him by the ear, whereupon Pinzón yells, the others come, and he makes up a ridiculous story to explain why he was yelling.

Lucrecia announces that she's to marry Carlos and that Alejandra and Felipe will marry. At this moment Felipe comes down on a cloud, as Carlos is pulled upon another one. Felipe identifies himself as Felipe of Spain, and when he says that Lucrecia is his love she finally believes him and is convinced that he loves her. Carlos returns and says that Don Jaime Pimentel is arriving in the name of the Duke to be the padrino at the wedding of Felipe and Lucrecia. Carlos asks Alejandra to marry him, and she agrees.  Pinzón is to be well rewarded for all of his tricks (including the clouds that brought Felipe and whisked Carlos away) that helped to bring to play to a successful conclusion.


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