famme fatale; love; jealousy; the power of darkness; forgiveness; spiritual life
Rusycystyczne Studia Literaturoznawcze, T. 21 (2011), s. 29-44
In the article there are analyzed the ways of shaping images of women who are leading
characters in both Tolstoy’s play and Polish dramas inspired by it. In The Power of Darkness
they are presented as the source of all evil. Primitive and backward inhabitants of Russian rural
area, possessed by the dark power of wild passions and the lust of wealth, crossing the moral
borders with no hesitations, allegedly, in the name of their life needs. The Polish playwrights
(W. Orkan, S. Wyspiański, L. Staff) make this images slightly milder by giving the immoral
female characters guilty conscience and the awareness of inescapable punishment. They also
enrich the creation of rural women with the analysis of their inner life and more detailed
description of their dilemmas and suffering.
The differences in depicting the women’s images were mainly determined by the way of
approaching reality in the interpreted dramas. The Tolstoy’s work realistically encapsulates the
rural world and presents characters in socio-psychological categories. In contrast, the writers of
Young Poland create their plays in the convention of so-called poetic realism.