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But she is already in love with the military general, Muley. Muley comes to the King with news of how they must fight against the approaching Portuguese forces to keep hold of Tangiers and also to gain possession of the city of Ceuta. Once the battle between the Muslims and the Christians is underway, Muley fights directly with the Prince of Portugal, Fernando Ferdinand. Ferdinand is victorious, and Muley surrenders. The two form a bond when Muley reveals that he is more upset by the loss of his love, Fenix, than by his defeat.

Ferdinand, sympathising with his pains of love, frees Muley and tells him to go back to his lady explaining that a noble Spaniard will be her willing prisoner instead. Returning to battle, Prince Ferdinand loses and is taken prisoner by the King of Fez. Muley visits Ferdinand in prison and tells him not to worry, he is sure Ferdinand will be restored to his own kingdom just as Muley was when Fernando captured him.

At first, Fernando is treated very well by the King, even asked to take part in courtly activities. But Ferdinand refuses to be traded, preferring Ceuta to remain Christian than to fall into Muslim hands. He tears up and then eats the papers offering Ceuta in exchange for his freedom. The King of Fez, desiring above all else the possession of Ceuta, now begins to treat Ferdinand very badly in prison, starving him and forcing him to endure hard labour. Muley, however, swears to repay the debt he owes to Ferdinand for freeing him on the battlefield, and offers to help him escape.

Muley arranges for tools to cut the prison bars and a ship to take Ferdinand and all the Christian prisoners home. Both Muley and Fenix beg the King of Fez to show some mercy to the Prince but the King insists all Ferdinand must do is hand over Ceuta and he will be freed. The new King of Portugal, Alfonso, visits the King of Fez and offers ransom money in exchange for Ferdinand, warning he will rescue the Prince by force if the King does not accept.

Muley laments losing both his bond with Ferdinand and his beloved Fenix, all in one day. The King of Fez passes by Ferdinand, now reduced to begging in the street; Ferdinand asks not for freedom but for death, but the King refuses and Fenix is also repulsed by him. Ferdinand dies in abject poverty, with the loyal Don Juan at his side.

Out on the coast, King Alfonso prepares for war. Ferdinand appears to him from beyond the grave, bringing a light to guide the Portuguese army to victory. The Christians win the battle, capturing Fenix, Tarudante and Muley. Ferdinand, appearing to King Alfonso, asks him to rescue his body.

The play ends with Alfonso ordering a state funeral for the loyal and Catholic Ferdinand, the Prince of Constant Faith. The story is that of the imprisonment and suffering of Prince Ferdinand of Portugal, who was taken prisoner by the Moors in the conflict over Ceuta. He suffered nobly and was willing to give his life to keep Ceuta a Christian territory. Sloman, Albert E. Oxford, Basil Blackwell in English and Spanish. See also these reviews [Accessed September ]. Cambridge, University Press.

Larson, Donald R. Porqueras-Mayo, Alberto. Michael D. McGaha, pp. Spitzer, Leo. Bruce W. Wardropper, pp. Wardropper, Bruce W. Whitby, William M. Wilson, E. Entry written by Kathleen Jeffs. Last updated on 31 January You must be logged in to add tags. Please log in or sign up for a free account. You must be logged in to post a comment.


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El Principe Constante

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