Electra Essay

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In the following essay, Corrigan examines Hofmannsthal's ideas on characterization, specifically how he shapes his characters toward defining moments.

As an Artist Hugo Von Hofmannsthal was always violent in his reaction against materialism in philosophy and naturalism in art. Even as a young man, living in the morally debilitated pre-World War I city of Vienna, Hofmannsthal saw the limitations of an art which was committed to an external view of reality. Naturalism in the drama, with its convention of environmental credibility, from the time of Hebbel, Becque, Hauptmann, and Ibsen (up to The Wild Duck) had tended to show life as it existed on the surface; it was all too often sociological in its orientation and failed to capture the multiple complexities of man's inner life. It was because of this very ordinariness, this exaction of truth to life, that Hofmannsthal turned to Symbolism, the shrine of all...

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This section contains 5,689 words
(approx. 15 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Electra Study Guide
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Electra from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.