Franz Grillparzer: Libussa. Trauerspiel in fünf Aufzügen [Libussa. A Tragedy in Five Acts]

(1579 words)

Franz Grillparzer’s five-act tragedy Libussa (1872) expresses in the framework of Czech mythology and history ideas about gender, government, and culture. Throughout his career Grillparzer had been fascinated by the story of Libussa, the legendary ruler of prehistoric Bohemia, who abandoned her exulted place in the fairy world to marry a mortal. This material lent itself to one of Grillparzer’s central concerns - gender roles and women in leadership positions - and his interest in the various national cultures within the Hapsburg Empire. In 1840 the first act of Libussa was performed at the academy of the Vienna Court Theater (Hofburgtheater). It received only lukewarm applause and thus confirmed the author’s …

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Lorenz, Dagmar C. G.. "Libussa. Trauerspiel in fünf Aufzügen". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 23 June 2006
[, accessed 25 September 2016.]