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Alesio (no habla)

soldado griego


caballerizo griego, ¿privado?


príncipe, chipriota, hermano de Carola y de Roselio


criada de Lidora, griega


infanta chipriota, presa, esposa de Constantino


caballero chipriota


príncipe griego, Emperador de Oriente, preso, traidor, hijo de Irene


alcalde griego, camarero


pastor griego


soldado griego

Florilo (Florino)

pastor griego

La Fortuna

personaje abstracto


viejo senador griego, preso


emperatriz griega, viuda, presa, madre de Constantino


pastor griego

Leoncio (Leocio)

camarero griego, emperador después, preso, traidor


categoría desconocida


soldado griego


caballero chipriota, Secretario de Estado, hermano de Lidora, nombre fingido de Clodio


dama-criada (sirve a Carola), traidora chipriota, cásase con Leoncio

Liso (reparto)

pastor griego


secretario griego


pastora griega


infante chipriota, capitán general, hermano de Carola 

Tarso pastor griego, secretario mayor, = poeta?, ¿sacristán?

P. anón.: soldados (83a, acot.; R I, 382a, acot.; 242a, acot.; no hablan); otros (con Constantino) (*83b, acot.; *382b, acot. 1; *243a, acot. 1; no hablan); dos criados (hablan 85a; 384b; 245a); voces (dentro) (*85b, acot. 1; *385a, acot. l; *245a, acot. 4;) tres marineros (hablan *85b; *385a; *245b); otros (soldados, reparto); (90b, acot.; 393a, acot.; 253b, acot.; no hablan; 94a, acot.; 398a, acot.; 259a, acot.; habla uno 97b; 403a; 264a; uno se llama Alesio); dos guardas (cuatro en reparto), (hablan 99a; 405a; 266a); dos guardas (parecen ser los mismos, hablan 99b; 406a; 266b, 267a); el Rey de Chipre (habla 100b; 407b; 268b); un criado (¿otro habla 101b; 409b; 270b?); soldados (102a, acot. 6; 410a, acot. 2; 271a, acot. 3; hablan cuatro 102a; 410a, b; 271a, b); un marinero (habla 104b; 413b, 274b); un relator (habla 106a; 415b; 276b); unos presos (hablan 106a, b; 416a, b; 277a, b); cazadores (hablan 110b, 423a; 284b); soldados (hablan 113a, 426a, 287b); otro soldado (habla 113a, 426a, 287b).


The Empress Irene has led the Greeks in a victorious battle, but her son Constantino wants the throne and the people support him. She crowns him, giving him a sword, a globe, and a crown, but as he gets up he falls, the sword breaks, and the globe and crown fall to the floor. Irene cautions him to be prudent; however, he is very high­handed and arrogant. After the coronation, she goes to the country to live among the shepherds. Shortly thereafter Leoncio, the chamberlain, hears a voice that calls him "Emperador griego."

Constantino is to marry Princess Carola of Cypress, who arrives with some other Cypriots, including her brother Roselio. Both Constantino and Leoncio fall in love with Lidora, one of Carola's ladies-in-waiting, upon seeing her bend to pick up a glove. Constantino now wants to marry Lidora instead of Carola, and to this end he talks to Lidora, promising that she can be the Empress. She, being ambitious and greedy, decides to accept his attentions. In order to keep Irene from interfering in what he wants to do, Constantino sends Andronio to the country with instructions to take her prisoner and lock her in a tower.

That night Constantino plans to meet Lidora, rather than Carola, but he entrusts the making of the arrangements to Leoncio, who sends Carola to Constantino's bed and takes Lidora to his own, pretending to be Constantino. The following day Carola and Lidora argue over Constantino. Carola observed that Constantino had appeared disturbed upon seeing Lidora the first time and now realizes how the situation really is. During their argument, Lidora slaps Carola, but when Constantino and the others come she pretends that Carola slapped her. Constantino, angry, has Carola locked up. She remarks that this is a "república al revés" (an upside-down republic), where servants lord it over their masters and the innocent are punished.


Clodio, Lidora's sweetheart from Cypress has come to find her, as he could not stand being away from her. She introduces him to Constantino as her brother, Liberio. Meanwhile, Constantino refuses to accept the advice of the Senate to free his mother and marry Carola, instead he ridicules the Senate and has Honorato, a distinguished old senator, hanged when he tries to counsel him. Later, upon seeing Carola, Constantino, and Lidora talking together, Leoncio flees, knowing his deceit (in switching Carola and Lidora) will be discovered. When Carola tells Constantino she is expecting his child and he denies that it could be his, she thinks it is part of a plan to accuse her of adultery and get rid of her. She now understands that when he called her "Lidora" that night, which had confused her at the time, he did it in order to trick and deceive her. Constantino now knows Leoncio's trick, but it is too late, Leoncio has already escaped. Constantino sends soldiers after him, promising that the one who captures him will be his new chamberlain.

In the meantime Leoncio has fled to the country, to a place where Tarso and Italio have quarreled over Melisa. Although Tarso does not really care for Melisa, Italio is jealous. He tries to kill Tarso, but the latter is quicker and kills him (Italio) instead. Leoncio then finds Italio's body, drags it off and trades clothes with it, smearing the face of the corpse with blood. Shortly thereafter Damón and the soldiers find the corpse and assume it to be Leoncio, although one of the soldiers is dubious. Damón, having been the first to discover it, will be the new chamberlain.

Constantino gives Andronio the choice of killing his mother by the garrote or of dying himself, so Andronio is forced to go to kill Irene. He loves her, though, and plans to seduce her and then kill her. Tarso helps her to escape, however, getting Andronio to let him in to visit her and by then persuading her to depart wearing his clothes, leaving him in her place.

Carola's father, the King of Cypress, having been summoned by Constantino, arrives, and Constantino offers him a chance to see what an adulteress his daughter is by spying on her. He makes the same offer to Roselio, thinking that father and son will kill each other in the dark, each believing the other to be Carola's lover. However at that moment Clodio goes through Carola's room on his way to a tryst with Lidora, and both the King and Roselio attack him and kill him. They assume that he is Carola's lover and that she has lost her honor, so go looking for her to kill her too, but she manages to escape to the sea. Tarso also gets away from Andronio and the soldiers after they discover that he is not Irene. Everything is happening just the opposite of the way it should in a good and orderly kingdom.


Irene and Tarso meet in the mountains, where both have gone to take refuge. Coincidentally Carola is rescued by a sailor, who brings her to the same place. Constantino, meanwhile, is judging prisoners: letting robbers and adulterers go free, but punishing the "idol worshippers" who honor Christ, Mary and the Saints. Roselio and his father search for Carola, but finally conclude that she has drowned. The King still doubts that she is guilty. They meet Leoncio, who tells them all that happened and that Carola is innocent.

At the Palace Constantino looks in Lidora's mirror and sees Leoncio coming to kill him, although he thought Leoncio was dead. However, Lidora, on looking in the mirror, sees only her own reflection, and thus Constantino concludes that it was the trick of an evil enchantress and that he will pay no attention to it. A sailor comes to tell Constantino that Irene and Carola are alive and hiding in the mountains. The King of Cypress, Roselio, and Leoncio, in the meantime, have gathered together an army of soldiers and are prepared to dethrone Constantino. The Greek soldiers declare Leoncio to be their Emperor, and the King and Roselio want to avenge Carola.

Constantino sets out with some hunters to track down Irene and Carola. When they stop to rest, Constantino goes to sleep and sees the Wheel of Fortune with Irene on the throne, Carola ascending, Leoncio descending, and he himself at the bottom. Fortune speaks to him explaining to him the significance of the wheel and telling him that Leoncio is now the Emperor and that Irene will punish him and have his eyes put out. He is frightened, but Macrino tells him that it is only a dream. Just then his servants come to say that Leoncio, the new Emperor, is on his way to kill him. Constantino flees.

Carola and Leoncio meet and he learns from her that Irene is still alive. He goes to look for her, ostensibly to greet her, but really to kill her so that he can continue to be the Emperor. The Greek soldiers have already found her, however, and are crying "Long live Irene." At this point the King of Cyprus and Roselio arrive, having captured Constantino and Lidora. As the play ends Irene judges everyone. Constantino is to be imprisoned and his eyes put out, just as Fortune had predicted. Carola begs Irene to forgive him, but she refuses. Lidora is turned over to Carola, who pardons her and asks that Leoncio be forgiven for making himself Emperor and that he and Lidora be permitted to marry. Irene agrees, although she had taken him prisoner for usurping Constantino's throne, declaring that a vassal should not overthrow his king, even though the king may be a bad one. Carola will return to Cyprus with her father and baby, Irene's grandson. Tarso is to be chief secretary, and Roselio is to stay with Irene as General-in-Chief. At the King's request Irene pardons Andronio, who has now come over to their side. Thus the "república al revés" comes to an end.


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