In the monastery of San Yuste, Emperor Karl v, the most powerful ruler in the world, once resigned the insignia of his power to to decide his life hidden from the world, in the solitude of spiritual meditation.
In the monastery of San Yuste, Don Carlo is dedicated to the happy hours, that got it in Fontainebleau with Elisabeth, who engaged bride him and spent, as wife his father his stepmother queen is. The Marquis of Posa, returned from the provinces of Flanders, is his childhood friend in deep despair. He convinced him of his duty to go to Flanders as a Savior of endangered people. Philip and Elizabeth enter the monastery to pray at the tomb of the supposedly deceased Emperor.
The Princess Eboli maintains the Entourage of ladies in waiting through a Moorish song in a garden near the monastery. When the Queen appears, the Marquis of Posa is reported to you. Succeeded the Marquis in a conversation secretly to hand over a message from Carlo the Queen and for him to ask audience. Princess Eboli is hoping for the love of the Prince. Alone with the Queen, Carlo can no longer hide his passionate feelings. Elizabeth, who still loves the Prince, her duty as Queen is aware, however, pleads with the desperate to meet his love to give. Surprisingly occurs as his wife is alone and without accompaniment, the King has the Countess of Aremberg, by the Court. Elisabeth says goodbye in painful emotion of the exiles and gives her wistful greetings to the abandoned home with on the way. The King remains to be ashamed. The opportunity to portray the misery of the Flemish people the ruler uses Posa. Philip, finds favor the bold language of Maltesers, decides to pull it as his confidants in his vicinity, but warns him of the power of the Inquisition.
II. ACT Don Carlo is waiting for the writer of a letter in which he suspects the Queen in the Royal Park of Madrid. When approaching the disguised, he bombarded them with declarations of love and realises too late that he has betrayed his secret of Princess Eboli. Posa, which conceptually, wants to bring the dangerous Mitwisserin to silence, but Carlo drops him in the arm. The Princess in her pride injured swears revenge. The Marquis persuaded the friend to type all the letters threatening him in his custody.
Front of the Cathedral of Madrid, a large crowd has gathered to attend the public execution of the heretic condemned by the Inquisition. At the head of a deputation of Flanders, Don Carlo confronts the King to ask him the Regency in the subjugated provinces. As the King with scornful words rejects this notion, the Prince übermannte of anger draws his sword. None of the great of the Kingdom cometh the threatened rulers to help disarmed Posa boyfriend and becomes the Duke of Philipp raised. The auto-da-Fe takes his progress. The flames of the pyre flare up while a comforting voice from heaven promises eternal peace the unfortunate victims.
III. ACT Alone at night in his Cabinet, the unloved, aging King of solitude and burden his Office complained. In the dichotomy of his conscience, he seeks advice from the blind Grand Inquisitor. This encouraged him with the intention to punish the rebellion of the new with the utmost severity, but in turn calls the life of the Marquis of Posa, which he suspected the stronghold. Philip struggles in vain, he must submit to the power of the Church.
The Queen leads lively appeal with her husband about the theft of their jewelry box and finds them on the desk of the King. As Philipp opens the box and discovered the portrait of to the new, he accused his wife of adultery. The Princess of Eboli and the Marquis of Posa rush to assist the sunken down in impotence. Alone with the Queen, the Princess confesses her betrayal of Carlo and their secret liaison with the King. She will be exiled from the deeply offended Elizabeth in a monastery.
Posa finds the prisoner Infante in the Dungeon to him to explain his actions and to take his farewell. With the help of the letters made available to him, he has suspicion of conspiring with Flanders by Carlo got hinged to allow the friend to help oppressed peoples once their right to life as the future King. A shot from ambush meets the Marquis in the back, dying, he refers to the friend to the Queen who has the desire to see a letztesmal Carlo.
The King enters the Dungeon, to return the sword to his son. Carlo has him as the killer of his friend by themselves. The indignant people demands the liberation of Infante.