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  1. Of words, bloody deeds, and bestial oblivion : Hamlet and Elektra

    On July 17, 1904, Hugo von Hofmannsthal wrote in his notebook: "'Elektra' […] Die Verwandtschaft und der Gegensatz zu Hamlet waren mir auffallend". He reiterated the parallels in two letters to two different addressees, Christiane Thun-Salm (October... mehr

     

    On July 17, 1904, Hugo von Hofmannsthal wrote in his notebook: "'Elektra' […] Die Verwandtschaft und der Gegensatz zu Hamlet waren mir auffallend". He reiterated the parallels in two letters to two different addressees, Christiane Thun-Salm (October 12, 1903) and Ernst Hladny (ca. 1909-1911), and in 1912 he wrote to Richard Strauss, whose opera based on the play had premiered in 1909, about the similarity between the two royal children: "[D]a sind alle Grundmotive identisch, und doch, wer denkt bei Elektra an Hamlet!" Indeed, comparing William Shakespeare’s "Hamlet" (ca. 1600) and Hugo von Hofmannsthal's "Elektra" (1903) may not seem to be the most obvious task to undertake. At first glance, the English Renaissance humanism of "Hamlet" may appear utterly incompatible with the Viennese fin-de-siècle modernism of "Elektra", but the parallels and similarities of the two plays far exceed the mere fact that both protagonists are children of murdered kings whose mothers pick their new lovers from among their relatives. In fact, I should like to suggest that "Elektra" is a direct response to "Hamlet", and should be read as the modernist continuation of the humanist Prince of Denmark and his "antic disposition".

     

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    Quelle: GiNDok
    Sprache: Englisch
    Medientyp: Wissenschaftlicher Artikel
    Format: Online
    ISBN: 978-3-7930-9826-3
    DDC Klassifikation: Literaturen germanischer Sprachen; Deutsche Literatur (830)
    Sammlung: Rombach Verlag; Hugo von Hofmannsthal-Gesellschaft
    Schlagworte: Hofmannsthal, Hugo von; Elektra; Shakespeare, William; Hamlet
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