Characters Discussed

(Great Characters in Literature)


Eusebio (ay-ew-SAY-byoh), one of two infants abandoned by a wayside cross. Surviving several disasters in which the sign of the cross is miraculously manifested, he feels himself ennobled by his devotion to the cross and worthy of Julia, whom he loves. After he kills her brother, Lisardo, in a duel, she orders him out of her life. He turns bandit and spares only victims who mention the cross. During ensuing adventures, he learns his identity; that of his father, Curcio; and that of his brother and sister, Lisardo and Julia. Fatally wounded, he wins redemption because of his devotion to the cross.


Julia (HEW-lyah), who is loved by Eusebio. Later, by the sign of the cross on her breast, she is revealed as Eusebio’s sister, the other infant abandoned at the wayside cross.


Lisardo (lee-SAHR-doh), Julia’s brother, killed in a duel by Eusebio and later revealed to be Eusebio’s brother.


Curcio (KEWR-thyoh), the father of Eusebio, Julia, and Lisardo. A baseless suspicion of his wife’s unfaithfulness causes him to abandon the twins, Eusebio and Julia, by a wayside cross. When he fatally wounds Eusebio in a fight, his son’s identity is established by the cross on his body.

Father Alberto

Father Alberto (ahl-BAYR-toh), a priest whose life is saved by the bandit Eusebio. In thankfulness for being spared, he hears the outlaw’s last confession.


Gil (heel) and


Menga (MEHN-gah), peasant witnesses to the duel between Eusebio and Lisardo.

The Devotion of the Cross Bibliography

(Great Characters in Literature)

Enwhistle, W. J. “Calderón’s La devoción de la cruz.” Bulletin Hispanique 50 (1948): 472-482. An important study of The Devotion of the Cross that should be read together with A. A. Parker’s work.

Honig, Edwin. Calderón and the Seizures of Honor. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1972. Detailed analysis of the often debated theme of honor in Calderon’s plays. Selected quotes from the plays are in English, but the Spanish is given in an appendix.

McKendrick, Melveena. “The bandolera of Golden Age Drama: A Symbol of Feminist Revolt.” Bulletin of Hispanic Studies 46 (1969): 1-20. Discusses the bandolera, a popular figure of the age. Also discusses Calderón’s portrayal of Julia.

Parker, A. A. “The Father and Son Conflict in the Drama of Calderón.” Forum for Modern Language Studies 2 (1966): 99-133. Critically acclaimed study of one of the pivotal themes in Calderonian drama. An excellent starting point for further study.

Parker, A. A. “Towards a Definition of Calderonian Tragedy.” Bulletin of Hispanic Studies 39 (1962): 223-237. One of the seminal essays of modern Calderonian criticism. Discusses Parker’s famous theory of shared responsibility. His analysis of The Devotion of the Cross is the most widely accepted.