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"Penthesilea"에 나타난 Kleist의 사랑의 象徵性 및 悲劇性
- "Penthesilea"에 나타난 Kleist의 사랑의 象徵性 및 悲劇性
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- 대학원 독어독문학과
- 이화여자대학교 대학원
- It was only after the World War Ⅰ that the real value of Kleist's works begann to be understood. This implies us an important point of his essence, namely his existential propensity. Two World Wars convinced us of the helplessness of human reason and brought the whole mankind to a unprecedented despair.
Kleist made the same experience through his famous Kant-crisis, and this is why Kleist came to attract our attention so suddenly in the 20th century.
His works are nothing but the expression of this despair, hope and search for a salvation.
"Penthesilesa" is one of his most symbolic works.
Through Kant-crisis Kleist lost all faith in the ability of human reason to perceive the essence of life, or self. And he put now the subjective feeling in the place of the objective reason. His subjectism is founded upon such a philosophical collapse. But beside this he always had a craving to find out what he was destined to do in the world. And these two points, the absoluteness of feeling and his unsatiable craving for understanding his unique mission, are symbolized by Penthesilea's love for Achill.
The Amazone-Kingdom stands for society, a power that is objective and inclined to interfere with the realization of the subjective feeling and mission.
Penthesilea is stricken in the conflict of these two essentially contrary worlds and doesn't know which one to take. The only place in the work where Penthesilea experiences the union of these conflicting worlds is the 14th scene. But this union could be brought about only through illusion. After this scene come the motives of "confusion of the feeling" and of "misunderstanding".
In the moment of paradise-like ecstasy Penthesilea gets Achills challenge. Her feelings of love and harmony are perfectly "verwirred" and she is beside herself. In a great rage she kills Achill. But the perplexity of her feelings comes from her misunderstanding of Achill's intention to complete their love. But the point of this work is that Penthesilea realizes, while she is standing before the dying Achill, what her real self and mission in this world is, and takes her life to follow him.
Her death is the destruction of her external conflict and the triumph of her inner self. While she gives up her objective world, she gains and saves her inner life and will be eternalized. This is the very death that Kleist himself died when he understood that the conflict of the two worlds can never be dissolved.
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