The play takes place in Madrid. Don Juan Alvarado flew to the capital from his native Burgos for a date with the bride. The young nobleman did not stop even the family’s misfortune: on his return from Flanders, don Juan learned that his older brother was insidiously killed, and Lucredia’s dishonored sister disappeared without knowing where. All thoughts of revenge were abandoned, as soon as don Juan saw the portrait of his betrothed – the charming Isabel de Rojas. Passion flashed instantly: the young man ordered Jodl’s servant to send his own picture to Madrid, and he himself followed. On the spot, an unpleasant circumstance becomes clear: Jodle, taking advantage of the occasion, also decided to capture his face, then began to compare both works, and as a result, the beautiful Isabella received a portrait of not the master, but the servants. Don Juan is shocked: what the girl will say, seeing such a pig’s snout? But cheerful Jodle comforts his master: when the beauty sees him, she will like twice as much in contrast, and the story of the idiocy of the stupid servant, of course, will make her smile. At the house of Fernand de Rojas don Juan notices a shadow and reveals a sword. Don Luis, descending the rope ladder from the balcony, quickly dissolves in the darkness so as not to start a duel under the windows of Isabella. Don Juan stumbles on the faithful Jodle: he falls down with fear on his back and starts kicking, defending his feet from an enraged caballero. Everything ends safely, but in Don Juan’s soul, a suspicion arises: a slob that has slipped away was not like a thief-rather, it’s about a lover. An example of a sister, brought up in terms of honor and not able to resist the seducer, cries for caution, so don Juan offers Jodle to swap roles – a servant may well pretend to be a gentleman through confusion with a portrait. Jodlet, having broken for a look, agrees and with pleasure anticipates how he will regale himself with lordly dishes and instruct horns on court dandies.
In the morning Isabella, with a passion, interrogates the maid about who climbed the night on the balcony. First, Beatrice swears in her innocence, but then admits that her cunning was bypassed by Don Louis, the handsome nephew of Don Fernand. The young helper-flyer, with tears in his eyes, begged him even for a second to let him in with the seigneur, tried to bribe and pity the vigilant Beatrice, but nothing came of it, and
he had to jump down to where he was already waited – people say that don Juan Alvarado rode in Madrid. Isabella is disgusted with the groom-she did not meet her more disgusting face. The girl tries to convince her and her father, but Don Fernand does not want to go backward: if you believe the portrait, the future son-in-law is an unusually unsightly, but he is high in the opinion of the court.
Don Fernan sends his daughter at the sight of a lady under a veil. Lucrezia, the disgraced sister of don Juan, came to ask for protection from her father’s old friend. She does not hide her guilt – her life burned the fire of love passion. Two years ago at the tournament in Burgos all knights were eclipsed by a visiting youth who pierced the heart of Lucretia. The impulse was mutual: the insidious seducer, if he did not, then artfully pretended. Then the terrible thing happened: the elder brother was killed, the father was extinguished by grief, and the lover disappeared without a trace. But Lucrezia saw him from the window-now she had the hope of finding the villain.
Don Fernand promises the guest full support. Then the nephew turns to him for advice. Two years ago, at the invitation of his best friend, Don Luis came to the tournament in Burgos and madly fell in love with a beautiful girl who also gave him his heart. One day an armed man burst into the bedroom, a fight began in the dark, both opponents struck randomly, and Don Luis struck the enemy to death. Great was his despair, when he found out in the murdered friend – the beloved was his own sister. Don Louis managed to escape safely, but now the circumstances have changed: according to rumors, the younger brother of the nobleman killed by him is going to Madrid – this brave youth is burning with a thirst for revenge. The duty of honor tells Don Luis to accept the challenge, but conscience does not allow him to kill.
There is a loud knock at the door, and Beatrice reports that the groom is bursting into the house – all in books and curls, discharged and perfumed, in stones and gold, like a Chinese goddess. Don Luis is unpleasantly amazed: how could his uncle get his daughter through without knowing his relatives? Don Fernand is preoccupied with something completely different: a massacre will begin in the house if don Juan finds out who his abuser is. Appears Jodle in the costume of don Juan and don Juan in the guise of Jodle. The young man is struck by the beauty of Isabella, and she looks at the condemned with hatred. Imaginary caballero rudely pushes the future father-in-law, gives a compliment to the brute compliment and immediately demands a quicker rounding of the business with the dowry. Don Luis, madly in love with Isabelle, secretly rejoices – now he is sure that the cousin will not stand before his pressure. Beatrice paints to paint him how don Juan greedily attacked the food. Having drenched the whole dress with sauce, the farmer lay down in the pantry right on the floor and began to snore so that the dishes on the shelves rattled. Don Fernan has already slapped his daughter in the face, although he only wants one thing – how to turn back the shafts.
Isabella is again pressing on her father with persuasion, but Don Fernand insists that he can not break the word. In addition, the family hangs a big sin before don Juan – don Luis defiled his sister and killed his brother. Left alone, Isabella gives herself up to woeful reflections: her future husband is a nuisance, her cousin’s passion is disgusting, and she herself was suddenly captivated by those she does not have the right to love-her honor does not even allow her to say it! Don Luis appears with a fierce outpouring. Isabella quickly suppresses them: let him give empty promises and commit heinous villainies in Burgos. Beatrice warns the lady that the father and the groom are going down to the noise, and the exit is closed: Don Juan’s servant hangs out at the door – and the sight of this handsome man is not at all harmless. Don Luis hurriedly hides in the bedroom, Isabella begins to honor Beatrice, which allegedly called don Juan an ugly and stupid animal. Enraged Jodle showered Beatrice with fierce scolding, and Don Fernan hurriedly retired to the top. The groom and his “servant” remain alone with the bride. Jodle sincerely declares that he was always fond of such pretty beauties. Isabella replies that with the advent of don Juan her life changed: before men, she almost disgusted her, but now she passionately loves what is constantly with the groom. Jodle understands from this only one thing – the girl has fallen in love! Deciding to try his luck, he sends the “servant” and offers the bride to go breathe air onto the balcony. This undertaking ends with a bashing: don Juan ruthlessly beats Jodle, but when Isabella enters, the roles are changed – Jodle is going to take care of his master for the unflattering opinion about Isabella. Don Juan has to endure, because a smart servant put him in a desperate situation. The masquerade must be continued for the sake of clarifying the truth: Isabella is inexpressibly beautiful, but, apparently, is incorrect.
Finally Beatrice releases Don Luis from the bedroom, and at that moment Lucrezia comes in, extremely amazed by the behavior of Don Fernand, who promised to protect her, but does not show herself. Don Luis, taking Lucrezia for Isabella, tries to explain: in Burgos he just dragged himself behind one girl, but that one does not fit into a beautiful cousin. Lucretia, throwing off the veil, showered Don Luis with reproaches and loudly calls for help. Don Juan-Lucretia appears, instantly recognizing his brother, involuntarily rushes under the protection of Don Luis. Don Juan draws a sword with the intention of defending the honor of his “master.” Don Luis is forced to enter into a fight with the footman, but then Don Fernand bursts into the room. Don Juan whispers to Lucretia to keep a secret, and aloud declares that he was doing his duty: don Luis was in Isabella’s bedroom – therefore, Don Juan is clearly insulted. Don Fernand recognizes the rightness of Jodle, and don Luis gives the word that he will fight either Don Juan or his servant.
Touched by the kindness of Isabella Lucretia, hints that don Juan is not at all what he seems. Jodle goes on stage, with pleasure picking his teeth and loudly sniffing after a hearty breakfast with meat and garlic. At the sight of Beatrice, he is ready to dissolve his hands, but the case spoils the appearance of indignant Isabella. Jodle with a sigh remembers the wise covenant of Aristotle: women should be instructed with a stick. Don Fernan informs “son-in-law” the joyful news: don Juan can finally cross the sword with Don Luis, the abuser of his sister. Jodle categorically refuses to duel: first, he does not care about any insult, because his own skin is more expensive, and secondly, he is ready to forgive the nephew of his future father-in-law, and thirdly, he has a vow – never to get into a fight because of the duel, for the baby. Outraged to the depths of his soul, Don Fernand declares, that he does not intend to extradite his daughter for a coward, and Jodle immediately informs his master that Lucrece was dishonored by Don Luis. Don Juan asks the servant to wait a little longer. He wants to believe that Isabella is innocent, because her cousin could just bribe the maid. There is a fight, and Jodle begs don Juan not to make himself known.
Beatrice, offended by another lover, mourns a bitter maiden share. Isabella is waiting with longing for the wedding, and Lucretia assures her friend that in all of Castile, there is no more worthy knight than her brother. Jodle leads Don Luis into the room where don Juan hid. The servant is clearly cowardly, and Don Luis showered him with ridicule. Then Jodle extinguishes the candle: don Juan replaces him and inflicts a light wound on the opponent’s hand. The situation is explained only with the appearance of Don Fernand: don Juan confesses that he entered the house under the guise of a servant because he was jealous of Isabella to Don Luis, who at the same time was the seducer of her sister. Don Luis swears that on the balcony and in the room he was held by Beatrice without the knowledge of his mistress. He deeply regrets that he accidentally killed the best friend, and is ready to marry Lucretia. Don Fernand calls for prudence: nephew and son-in-law must reconcile, and then the house will become a place for a merry wedding feast. Don Juan and Don Luis embrace, Lucretia and Isabella follow their example. But the last word is for Jodle: the servant asks the former “bride” to give the portrait: this will be his gift to Beatrice – let the well-deserved happiness enjoy the three couples.