The Tower Criticism

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Writing in 1966, Alfred Schwarz asserts that The Tower is "one of the masterpieces of contemporary drama." Michael Hamburger refers to it as von Hofmannsthal's "most personally committed play." Von Hofmannsthal first began the effort of adapting a play from La vida es sueno (Life Is a Dream; 1635), by the great Spanish playwright Pedro Calderon de la Barca, in 1902, but he did not produce the first completed version until 1925. According to Schwarz, von Hofmannsthal's early acquaintance with Calderon's play "arrested his attention," and it's central allegory "exercised a fascination on him which lasted for the rest of his life." In reconceptualizing and revising his adaptation, von Hofmannsthal "radically reshaped the play in the course of many years during which he pondered the subject."

It was only the debacle of World War I that provided von Hofmannsthal with a meaningful context for his adaptation: "The experience of the first world...

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This section contains 915 words
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The Tower from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.