Stage Interpretation and Inner Transformations of the Image of the Hero in Baroque Art

Keywords: the baroque hero, “The Constant Prince” by Calderon, “Catharina von Georgien” by Grifius, transformation of the image, stage interpretation.


The image of the Baroque hero —
the martyr or righteous man — is of scholarly
interest as an object of self-knowledge
and a guide of the idea of inner transformations.
The object of the research has been served
to a great degree by Pedro Calderon’s play
“The Constant Prince” and its stage
manifestation, to a lesser degree Andreas
Grifius’ play “Catharina von Georgien.”
The duplicity of inner nation typical
of the baroque hero and the aspiration towards
acquiring immortality are clearly refl ected
in the mental scheme of the transition from
death to resurrection. The protagonist’s
outward suffering and death are perceived
in this context as a symbolic refl ection
of the inner sufferings of the soul capable
of enlightenment and a mystical unification
with God. The scenic image of Don Fernando
(“The Constant Prince”) is presented
in the directorial images of Vsevolod Meyerhold
(1915), Jerzy Grotowski (1965) and Boris
Yukhananov (2013). This makes it possible
to trace on various temporal stages the baroque
hero’s change of perception from a positive
to a negative scenario. Whereas the positive
scenario of the image’s transformation asserts
the process of attaining God, the negative
scenario denies the possibility of spiritual
reawakening and displaces God beyond
the scope of the hero’s inner space,
turning the hero from a savior into a victim.

Baroque Art: Motion in Time