The Translation by Rakić of the Greek Sacred Drama Sacrifice of Abraham Cover Image

Ракићев превод грчке сакралне драме Жртва Аврамова
The Translation by Rakić of the Greek Sacred Drama Sacrifice of Abraham

Author(s): Nada N. Savković
Subject(s): Theatre, Dance, Performing Arts, Serbian Literature, Eastern Orthodoxy
Published by: Матица српска

Summary/Abstract: In 1799, Vićentije Rakić published in Buda and Cataro the religious drama in verse Žertva Abramova (The Sacrifice of Abraham), his most popular work. The author stresses out that the work has been translated from the Greek language, but there are some opinions that it was made after a biblical play Lo Isach (1556) by Luigi Grotto (1541–1585). Rakić’s The Sacrifice of Abraham had many editions: four were in 1799 only – three in Buda and one in Kotor; till 1884 there were a dozen of editions, and in 1869 the edition in the Latin script was published. Rakić has suc cessfully composed a number of elements close to the Serbian people; they were familiar with the selected biblical theme; the national language was close to them, and his verse was deseterac – decasyllable. The Greek piece The Sacrifice of Abraham contains 1144 (1154; 1160) verses, iambic verse – fifteen syllable, there is no prologue, epilogue or the division into acts and scenes; it does not contain the choral sections. On the other hand, Grotto’s Lo Isach contains a prologue, the play is divided into five acts, and the latter are further divided into scenes, with the presence of Choir. Wim Bakker is the author of several studies on the Greek play for which it is assumed that it was written by Вιτσεντσοσ Κορναροσ (Vicencos Kornaros) and modelled on the Italian sacred drama Lo Isach by Luigi Grotto. Grotto wrote Lo Isach in non-rhyming verses, 1632 of them; the prologue contains 75 verses. The Greek play The Sacrifice of Abraham was very popular, it was published in many editions during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and Rakić was the closest to those from the years 1777 and 1789. If you compare the texts of Rakić and Grotto, there is apparent similarity, because the topic is the same, there is similarity in the sequence of actions, yet the apparent difference is seen in treating the subject; Rakić has simplified the story, its image is simpler, and it cannot be said that Rakić translated Grotto’s piece. Neither in The Sacrifice of Abraham by Rakić nor in the Greek play there is any division into scenes and acts; there is not any prologue and epilogue either; there are 1018 verses, one hundred and twenty six less than in the Greek piece, and six hundred nine verses less than the Italian Lo Isach; the verse is decasyllable, its rhyme is always in the first and second verse as in the Greek text, and was printed in the church Cyrillic script. Rakić notes that his work was „naravoučiteljna knjiga – the moral book“; in compliance with his life credo he wanted to present religious themes in a different way, bearing also in mind possible putting the text on the stage. Rakić’s sacred drama The Sacrifice of Abraham has been staged in theatres several times. Nikola Andrić notes that The Sacrifice of Abraham was also included in the repertoire of the Belgrade Theatre in 1857.

  • Issue Year: 65/2017
  • Issue No: 3
  • Page Range: 825-841
  • Page Count: 17
  • Language: Serbian