Characters Discussed

(Great Characters in Literature)

Don Diego

Don Diego (dee-EH-goh), a wealthy nobleman. In love with María but spurned by her, he directs his servant, Morón, to try to learn how best to approach the lady. When Don Diego repeats to his friends Morón’s gleanings concerning María’s activities, the servant spreads the story that his master is an astrologer with knowledge of past and future. Don Diego’s supposed occult powers bring him only trouble, as his false prophecies spread confusion and turn everybody against him. He even succeeds in uniting María and his rival, Juan de Medrano.


Morón (mohr-OHN), Don Diego’s servant, who is in love with Beatriz. His master instructs him to pump Beatriz concerning her mistress, María. Morón finds his beloved in danger of exposure when Don Diego passes on the information obtained from her. To protect Beatriz, Morón explains that Don Diego’s knowledge comes through his powers as an astrologer.


María (mah-REE-ah), a young girl loved by Don Diego and Juan de Medrano.

Juan de Medrano

Juan de Medrano (hwahn deh meh-DRAH-noh), an impoverished young nobleman in love with María and preferred by her to Don Diego.


Beatriz (beh-ah-TREES), María’s maid, loved by Morón, to whom she reveals the details of Juan de Medrano’s visits to her mistress.

Don Carlos

Don Carlos, Juan de Medrano’s friend.

Doña Violante

Doña Violante (vee-oh-LAHN-teh), a woman in love with Juan de Medrano.


Leonardo (leh-oh-NAHR-doh), María’s father.

The Fake Astrologer Bibliography

(Great Characters in Literature)

Calderón de la Barca, Pedro. The Fake Astrologer. Translated by Max Oppenheimer. Lawrence, Kans.: Coronado Press, 1976. The only accessible English edition of the work, with the Spanish and English on facing pages. Contains bibliographical references.

Cohen, Walter. Drama of a Nation: Public Theater in Renaissance England and Spain. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1985. Good analysis of the differences and similarities between the national theaters of both countries. Discusses the borrowing of plots and characters, which in the case of The Fake Astrologer is between Calderón and Dryden by way of Corneille.

Nicoll, Allardyce. A History of Restoration Drama 1660-1700. 2d ed. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 1928. Traces the links between Spanish and British theater. Notes that Charles II was interested in Calderónian theater.

Wardropper, B. W. Calderón’s Comedy and His Serious Sense of Life. In Hispanic Studies in Honor of Nicholson B. Adams, edited John Esten Keller and Karl-Ludwig Selig. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1966. A study by one of the foremost scholars of Calderónian theater, which discusses the playwright’s serious purpose lurking behind such comic scenes as in the “clavileño” episode of The Fake Astrologer.

Wilson, Margaret. Spanish Drama of the Golden Age. Oxford, England: Pergamon Press, 1969. A good starting point for any discussion of Spanish Golden Age theater. Includes detailed footnotes and a list of English translations.