Born on Jan. 17, 1600 in Madrid, Calderón was one of the greatest playwrights of Spain’s Golden Age. He was born into a family considered part of the lower nobility and his father served as secretary to the treasury.
Calderón attended the Colegio Imperial in Madrid, a Jesuit institution, and later continued his studies at the Universities of Alcalá and Salamanca.
His debut as a playwright came at the age of 13 with the comedy El Carro del Cielo, a fantasy that takes place between heaven and earth. By the time he was 19, Calderón had already written several successful plays.
Among his most notable works are Casa con dos puertas, mala es de guardar, No hay burlas con el amor, El príncipe constante, El mágico prodigioso, El médico de su honra, El alcalde de Zalamea and his masterpiece,La vida es sueño (1636).
Calderón was ordained as a priest in 1651 and served as chaplain at the Toledo cathedral and honorary chaplain to Philip IV. He died on May 25, 1681.