eaton of fragmented historical background and fractured spirit with a German identity that proved irresistible. The three male suitors in the opera have no names; we are encouraged to look at them as types, not individuals. Their titles clearly suggest past, present, and future. If the function of these characters is to be examined from a socially and philosophically critical point of view, and not just as elements in a psychological drama, what aspects of past, present, and future do they invoke? The answer is, challengingly, that very little is precisely suggested in the text, but much can be and, in a stage production, has to be inferred. It is logical to associate Yesterdayâs Lover with a past world, perhaps a threatened, cultivated Germany, perhaps the more liberal-humanist but ultimately ineffectual side of a defeated Prussian-German state. Todayâs wealthy Husband can be associated with the resurgent industrialists of the struggling Weimar Republic, the Thyssens and Krupps and Voeglers that Hitler so successfully courted. And Tomorrowâs Lover, the impassioned, strutting, and incoherent posturer, perhaps with the mad seductions of the fascist world to come. Dejanira is the only character in the piece with a name, one that suggests a
Theater – Duke University Press
Published: Jan 1, 2000
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