„Jać tylko w jednej ulubionej żyłem. Umarła! Wszystko straciłem” — o miłości i śmierci w Żalach Orfeusza nad Eurydyką Franciszka Dionizego Kniaźnina
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The subject deliberated upon in the present paper is the motive of death as presented in Żale Orfeusza nad Eurydyką funeral series by Franciszek Dionizy Kniaźnin. The collection in question originated in a tragic event in the life of Franciszek Zabłocki, Kniaźnin’s friend, whose beloved wife Katarzyna passed away shortly after the couple had married. Deeply moved by the young widower’s experiences, Kniaźnin dedicated the aforementioned series to Zabłocki, as he described, against the background of the Orpheus and Eurydice myth, the intermingling of the couple’s great love and death. The chief focus of the paper is on the strategies of approaching the theme of death, on how it is presented and perceived, as well as on the emotions it evokes. In Żale Orfeusza…, death, on the one hand, is shown from the perspective of a devastated individual, and on the other, through references to the popular myth and Jan Kochanowski’s Lamentations (Treny), placed within a wider cultural and literary context which indicates universality.
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