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Introduction & Overview of The Tower by Hugo von Hofmannsthal

This Study Guide consists of approximately 84 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Tower.
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The Tower Summary & Study Guide Description

The Tower Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Further Reading and a Free Quiz on The Tower by Hugo von Hofmannsthal.


Hugo von Hofmannsthal's five-act play Der turm (The Tower) was first published in book form in 1925. A revised version of The Tower was first performed on stage in 1927. Von Hofmannsthal adapted the story, set in seventeenth century Poland, from the play La vida es sueno (Life Is a Dream; 1635), by Pedro Calderon de la Barca, the great playwright of the Golden Age in Spanish literature.

The Tower concerns the fate of Sigismund, a young prince whose father, King Basilius, has kept him locked in the tower because of a prophecy that claimed he would rise up against his father in rebellion. As the play opens, Sigismund, now twenty-one years of age, has been locked in a cage like an animal, unaware of his royal heritage. A physician who has examined Sigismund convinces Julian, the tower governor, to persuade the king to restore his son as heir to the throne. But, as soon as the king grants Sigismund this power, the son rises up and attacks his father. After the king's attendants overpower him, Sigismund is sentenced to death. On the day of his execution, however, a planned rebellion among the noblemen dethrones the king and Sigismund ascends the throne as the new king. A peasant rebellion, however, lead by Oliver, results in the assassination of Sigismund.

As stated in Contemporary Authors, "The Tower expresses the hopeless fate of human existence ravaged by the brutal forces of a modern world devoid of a Christian mission."

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This section contains 245 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
Purchase our The Tower Study Guide
The Tower from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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