Angel vs Demon in A. Rubinstein`s/P. Viskovatov`s and A.F. Offerman`s librettos which are based on the poem “Demon” by M. Lermontov

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Margarita Poltavets


The scientific report considers the libretto "The Demon" by A. Rubinstein/P. Viskovatov and the German translation of the self – titled by A. F. von Offerman. One of the main purposes of this paper is to identify the main differences between the original text and its translation into German. The second important purpose is to compare two characters of the texts: Demon and his foe  – Angel. 

It is a fact that the libretto is based on the original text of the poem, but it is worth mentioning that tests went through several transformations. These transformations significantly have changed the original ideas of the poet. The last scene of the libretto of the poem “Demon” is considered to be the ideological culmination, which signified the phenomenon of the Demon's moral death. The noted scene plays an important role not only in the Russian libretto but also in the German one. It seems reasonable to consider Tamara`s death of vital importance to the libretto because this scene decides the essence and fate of the Demon's existence: a return to the bosom of God or his final fall. In both texts, to achieve a high goal, the Demon is confronted with two obstacles: on the one hand, he cannot find Tamara's love, and on the other hand, the Demon does not heed the moral suasion of the Angel. This character is controversial in many means. Though Angel is considered to be his foe, he is also Demon`s spiritual mentor. Angel`s destiny is to show the way to the Demon`s salvation, or to his final chord.

Published: Nov 14, 2022

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“West – East” Dichotomy and Russian Culture: Literary and Cultural Paradigms