My Crimes Are the Fruit of Love. Medea Myth in German-Language Literature Cover Image
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Moje zbrodnie są owocem miłości. Mit Medei w literaturze niemieckojęzycznej
My Crimes Are the Fruit of Love. Medea Myth in German-Language Literature

Author(s): Anna Wilk
Subject(s): German Literature
Published by: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Łódzkiego
Keywords: Medea in literature;demigoddess;Medea myth;German-language literature;Medea
Summary/Abstract: The author compares and analyzes selected works dealing with the problem of the Medea myth in German-language literature. In German culture, the Medea theme has enjoyed exceptional popularity since the mid 1970s., and numerous theatre and opera productions, stories and novels have been devoted to it. The author puts forth a thesis in which she argues that the great potential of the myth consists in its ambiguity and current relevance. Writers have placed the tragic figure of a baby killer in various contexts, portraying the heroine as a jilted lover, a foreigner deprived of her homeland, and even a victim of political or racial persecution. What is the real face of Medea? Does the real Medea even exist? Does Euripides’s portrayal refer to one mythical character? Even as a mythical figure, Medea cannot be said to be a homogeneous concept. And maybe Christa Wolf is right when she claims that the heroine has become the object of political manipulation? In the present publication, these questions remain unanswered because the reception of the myth and the attempt to adapt the mythological matter in the modern world seem much more important. Two different tendencies can be observed here: the first is an attempt to archaize the character and establish her in a mythical reality while emphasizing her divine origin; the second is contemporization, whereby the story of the babykiller is set in a given author’s own times. A third group, or rather a subgroup, might merit a mention, too: these are the works which, despite being set in ancient times, are characterized by an immediate relevance of the problems they discuss. The myth in them acts as a form of camouflage. In all cases, the myth was therefore treated as a complex of rules and models of human behaviour that would not change over time.

  • E-ISBN-13: 978-83-8142-406-6
  • Print-ISBN-13: 978-83-8142-405-9
  • Page Count: 284
  • Publication Year: 2019
  • Language: Polish