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abstract. In Elektra Hofmannsthal created a drama more of its time than he cared to admit, but he concealed this specificity in the ‘eternal’ materials of myth. Donor challenge: Your generous donation will be matched 2-to-1 right now. Your $5 becomes $15! Dear Internet Archive Supporter,. I ask only. HOFMANNSTHAL’S ELEKTRA. Herman K. Doswald. Huco voN HOFMANNSTIIAL was one of the early writers in the 20th. Century to question the power of.

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She and her mother are locked in a horrific co-dependency. Divisive political treaties were hardening into the configurations that led to the cataclysm of It wasn’t until that they could actually start work together on Elektra, by which time, Strauss, to Hofmannsthal’s alarm, began hofmnnsthal.

Elektra – Elektra

The myth of Electra forms part of the vast classical saga of the house of Atreus, whose nominal founder, after a row with his brother, Thyestes, killed the latter’s children and served them up to him to eat. Chrysothemis comes to tell her: This scarce antiquarian book is included in our special Legacy Reprint Series. Elektda AegisthusKlytaemnestra’s paramour.

Tragic Opera in One Act.

Strauss, meanwhile, saw Elektra during its opening run in the winter of and promptly contacted Hofmannsthal with hofmansthal view to turning it into an opera. InElektra may have been disturbing, but it was also disturbingly familiar and at the start of the 21st century, it seems so again. After his return, with the help of her paramour Aegisthusshe murders her husband and now is afraid that her crime will be avenged by her other children, ElektraChrysothemis and their banished brother Orest.

Yet beneath some of those early comments lurked distorted vestiges of the truth. The other characters hofmxnnsthal Klytaemnestraher mother and one of the murderers of her father Agamemnon ; her sister, Chrysothemis ; her brother, Orestes ; and Klytaemnestra’s lover, Aegisthus. One of the worst plays I have ever read. Five servants try to wash the courtyard of the Palace in Mycenae.


Chrysothemis goes into the Palace to be with her brother. Hugo von Hofmannsthal February 1, — July 15,was an Austrian novelist, librettist, poet, dramatist, narrator, and essayist.

She hears that he is expecting to be called from within the Palace because he has a message for the lady of the house. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Nov 07, Eteaqueen rated it did not like it Shelves: Opera by Richard Strauss.

Then, taken aback, she recognizes him: Only when she wishes that all was over and after envying prisoners in their cells, she will come to realize that her prison is her own body. To support the overwhelming emotional content of the opera, Strauss uses an immense orchestrawith the following instrumentation:. Klytaemnestra confides to her daughter that she has been suffering nightmares every night and that she still has not found the way to appease the gods.

Elektra by Hugo von Hofmannsthal

A book which I definitely will not read again. Strauss’s father, a domineering man, who encouraged his son’s compositions but repeatedly disparaged the results, had died inan event which in turn caused Strauss’s mother whose mental health was never less than precarious to have a massive breakdown, necessitating confinement in a sanatorium. Elektra has sacrificed her sexuality to keep her obsession alive, and describes, in a flektra passage, how she gave birth, parthenogenetically, to “curses and despair”.

She must be awakened and chased around the house just like an animal that is being hunted. Want to Read saving….

Before the opera begins, Agamemnon has sacrificed Iphigenia on the ruse that she is to be married, and subsequently goes off to war against Troy. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Myth becomes the embodiment of psychological extremism as Hofmannsthal collides with his contemporary Freud. Sabrina rated it really liked it Apr 17, Isabel rated it it was ok Dec 18, The ending was weak, made almost no sense and I was thoroughly disappointed as I am usually a fan of tragedies with a female protagonist such as Antigone and Iphegina.

Only one servant shows mercy for her, but she is taken away by the overseer to be flogged. The Atreidan myth is the only subject common to all three extant Greek tragic dramatists, though they approached it in different ways. Elektra has managed to send her brother away while remaining behind to keep her father’s memory alive, but all the while, suffering the scorn of her mother and the entire court.


There is no answer. Terrified by nightmares of Orest’s return, Klytemnestra asks Elektra to interpret and cure her dreams. Infinitely more important, however, was his decision to jettison the myth’s metaphysics in their entirety.

There is no divinely imposed pattern of retribution, no Furies to goad and torment his Orest, and the characters are consequently at the mercy of their own uncontrollable psyches and irrationalistic obsessions. Much has been made of his ditching of many overt trappings of Greek drama, such as turning Sophocles’ single-minded chorus into a gaggle of squabbling maids.

Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Nowadays, it is impossible to think of Hofmannsthal’s text without Strauss’s music, though the play proved influential in its own right, opening the way for later dramatists to reinvent classical myth as psychodrama.

Mirabilis rated it really liked it Jun 04, Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Views Read Edit View history.

Natalia Natful rated it it was amazing Aug 30, Elektra has often been cited as the first play to take Freudian theory on board. Elektra is initially ecstatic, but also ashamed of what she has become and how she has sacrificed her own royal state for the cause. Despite the protests of the Trainbearer and Confidante, Klytaemnestra climbs down to talk to Elektra. Elektra tells her mother her nightmares must continue until the axe falls and extinguishes her life.

Compared to Sophocles ‘s Electrathe opera presents raw, brutal, violent, and bloodthirsty horror.