Using as the background for the action the most uniquely Spanish theme, the bullfight, Blasco Ibanez traces the career of a talented and ambitious young bullfighter, Juan Gallardo, as he overcomes his modest origins and becomes a hero in the ring.
Stardom soon comes to this artful and courageous matador. He receives the adulation of many, among them a wealthy and spoiled woman, Dona Sol, niece of an important and aristocratic breeder of bulls. The love affair that develops between the bullfighter and Sol is nothing but a diversion for the young woman.
The bullfighter's humble birth, and even his profession, deny him from ever being a suitable mate for someone as socially prominent as Dona Sol.
Gallardo, however, does not realize that class barriers are not easily removed, and that he is only a brief and insignificant interlude in her life.