Texto completo

Escena:  En Jerusalén y sus cercanías.





reina, personaje bíblico, esposa de David


infante, personaje bíblico, traidor, hijo de David


infante, personaje bíblico, hijo de David




ganadero, pastor, rústico

Amón príncipe de Israel, personaje bíblico, ¿soldado?, traidor, hijo de David
Ardelio ganadero, pastor, rústico






dama-¿criada (sirve a Abigail)?, personaje bíblico, madre de Salomón


ganadero, pastor, rústico


rey viejo, personaje bíblico, profeta, poeta

Délvora (Délbora)





caballero-criado (sirve a Amón)


dama, novia, cásase con Josefo








personaje bíblico, general, capitán general


personaje bíblico, caballero-criado (sirve a Amón)

Josefo de Isacar

caballero-¿criado?, novio




dama-criada (sirve a Tamar)










ganadero, pastor, rústico




infante, personaje bíblico, hijo de David



Socorre Calvas

así llaman a Absalón


infanta, personaje bíblico, hija de David

Tirso ganadero, pastor, rústico, ¿poeta?



P. anón.:  otros (¿soldados?) (408a, acot.; R III, 363a, acot.; no hablan); un criado (habla 413a, 372b); un criado (¿otro?) (habla 414a, 374a); músicos, cantan desde adentro (416a, acot. 1; 377a, acot.); un maestro de armas (habla 416a, 377b); un criado (¿otro?) (habla 431b, 401a); el autor (habla *433b, *404b).

Todos son hebreos, menos el autor.


During a truce in the fighting between David's army and the Ammonites, David's sons Amón, Absalón, and Adonías have returned to Jerusalem.  Amón has never been in love, so the others suggest possible women for him, but he objects to each of them.  Absalón wants to take advantage of his father's absence by entering his harem, although this privilege is prohibited to all.  Amón does go into the forbidden garden at night, however, and there he hears Tamar, his half-sister, singing.  Enchanted by her voice, he falls in love with her, unaware of who she is.  While he is listening to her sing, he trips and falls, and she helps him up.  He identifies himself as the gardener's son and kisses her hand in gratitude.  Having learned that the singer is to wear red to the wedding of Elisa and Jusefo the next day, Amón is shocked to discover that she is his half-sister when heh sees her at the ceremony.  Not knowing what else to do, he plans to leave, but his love is too strong and he disguises himself so that he can attend the festivities following the nuptials without being recognized.  He converses with Tamar, who realizes that he is the man she encountered in the garden, but does not know that he is Amón.  When she orders him away, he responds by kissing her hand, whereupon she calls for the others to pursue him and kill him.


Amón has become ill because of his love of Tamar.  His associates cannot keep up with his changing moods.  The doctor who has been summoned to attend him is unable to discover his ailment.  David returns from his successful campaign against the Ammonites and is welcomed enthusiastically by all, except Amón, who requests that his father go away and leave him alone.  Finally Amón speaks to Tamar of his love for an Ammonite princess who looked just like Tamar.  He had planned to ask David for a dispensation to marry her, but he has learned that she was killed during the attack by the Israelites.  Saying that he cannot get over this love, he asks Tamar to pretend to be the princess, and she agrees to help him.  When he wants to kiss her, however, she says that is going too far.

In the meantime, Joab, a general who loves Tamar, happens to overhear the loving farewell between Amón and his "princess."  Jealous, Joab threatens to tell the King of this incestuous love.  Tamar, who also loves Joab, explains the situation, and he is satisfied, planning to ask the King for permission to marry Tamar.  As he leaves, Joab kisses Tamar's hand, a scene witnessed by Amón, who becomes very jealous.  When he chides Tamar, she becomes angry and refuses to play the role of his princess any longer.

At this point the desperate Amón confides to Jonadab what his real trouble is.  The latter suggests that Amón ask David to have Tamar bring him something to eat, alone, and that he then take advantage of this opportunity.  Amón makes the request of his father, and when Tamar comes he rapes her, in spite of her protests.


Amón drives Tamar from him, calling her all sorts of evil names.  She is disconsolate, first having lost her honor and then being treated in such a cruel way.  Reminding Amón that she is his sister, she rebukes him and swears revenge.

Absalón and Adonías argue about which of them should inherit the throne, because they believe that Amón is dying of his illness.  Absalón claims that he should be the heir, since he is the older, but Adonías disagrees because he believes that Absalón is too handsome (making special reference to his beautiful hair) and too interested in appearances and beauty to make a good king.  At this point David arrives with Salomón and announces that the latter will ascend the throne.  Tamar appears, disheveled, dressed in mourning and with ashes on her head.  After relating to them what has happened, she asks Absalón to avenge her, since Adonías and Salomón are only half-brothers.  Absalón views this as an opportunity both to get revenge for Tamar and to get the throne for himself.  For his part, David loves Amón too much to punish him, even though he knows he should.  He asks Absalón to forget and not to punish Amón, who has repented and promised not to offend David again.  Absalón finally says that if he should hurt Amón, he should be hanged by his hair and left to die between heaven and earth.

Absalón invites everyone to his country place for a sheep-shearing, ostensibly so that they can rest and forget, but really in order to carry out his vengeance.  At first David does not wish to go, but Absalón insists that his brothers must go, so that David finally agrees, although he feels uneasy about Amón's going.  At the sheep-shearing, Laureta, one of the peasants, privately tells them their fortunes, predicting to Amón that he may be in danger, to Absalón that he will be on high because of his hair (which he assumes to refer to him as a king), and to Salomón that he is to be a king.  When the others go to eat, Amón stays behind to talk to one of the shepherdesses, but when he removes her veil, he sees that it is Tamar, who has been living there in solitude disguised as a shepherdess.  Upon recognizing her, he leaves to go to the banquet.  After his departure, Tamar says that it will be his last meal, that she is to have her vengeance.

Absalón stabs Amón at the table, then brings Tamar to see the death scene and rejoices with her that her honor has been restored.  He is to flee to Gesur, where his grandfather is king.  Although he does not know what has happened, David is worried.  Adonías and Salomón come to tell him that Amón is dead but he has already guessed it and is very grieved at the loss of his son.  Thus Tamar's story ends in tragedy.


List of Plays

Lists of Characters