Modern Intentions in Lesia Ukrainka’s Drama Cassandra




Lesia Ukrainka, drama, modernism, communication, language, understanding, existential problem


In her drama Cassandra (1903–1907) Lesia Ukrainka pays considerable attention to language and demonstrates its two defi ning forms and functional paradigms. One of them is language that appeals to the essential components of being. It is language that refl ects human existence in all its acuity and fullness of appearance. This language is complex and diffi cult to understand, but is the only real language of the age of modernism. Another language is superfi cial, appealing not to the depths of life and universal categories, but to temporary human needs and aspirations. Its task is to identify the ways and means of achieving a desired goal. Such language is manipulative, because its speakers tend to hide their personal interests under claims of the common good. Also, in the drama, Lesia Ukrainka innovatively raises a number of questions related to the internal laws of world development, the processes of human cognition, the functioning of language, and the understanding and interpretation of the word. The formulation and presentation of these issues demonstrate the clear modern attitude that the writer professed and embodied in her drama.


Aheieva, Vira. Poetesa zlamu stolit: Tvorchist Lesi Ukrainky v postmodernii interpretatsii [A Poetess at the Turn of Centuries: Lesia Ukrainka’s Writings in Postmodern Interpretation]. Kyiv: Lybid, 1999.

Biletskyi, Oleksandr. Zibrannia prats: v 5 t. [Collected Works: In 5 vols.]. Vol. 2. Kyiv: Naukova Dumka, 1965.

Blanchot, Maurice. Prostir literatury. Ese [The Space of Literature. Essay]. Lviv: Kalvaria, 2007.

Fizer, Ivan. Filosofi ia literatury [The Philosophy of Literature]. Kyiv: NaUKMA; Ahrar Media Group, 2012.

Gadamer, Hans-Georg. Hermenevtyka i poetyka [Hermeneutics and Poetics]. Kyiv: Univers, 2001.

Gadamer, Hans-Georg. Istyna i metod. Osnovy fi losofskoii hermenevtyky: v 2 t. [Truth and Method. The Fundamentals of Philosophical Hermeneutics: In 2 vols.]. Vol. 1. Kyiv: Univers, 2000.

Hundorova, Tamara. ProYavlennia Slova. Dyskursiia rannioho ukrainskoho modernizmu. Postmoderna interpretatsia [The Emerging Word: The Discourse of Early Ukrainian Modernism. A Postmodern Interpretation]. Lviv: Litopys, 1997.

Pavlychko, Solomiia. Dyskurs modernizmu v ukrainskii literaturi [The Discourse of Modernism in Ukrainian literature]. Kyiv: Lybid, 1997.

Plato. Dialohy [Dialogues]. Kharkiv: Folio, 2008.

Plato. Sobraniie sochinenii: v 4 t. [Collected Works: In 4 vols.]. Vol. 1. Moscow: Mysl, 1990.

Plato. Complete Works. Indianapolis; Cambridge: Hackett Publishing Company, 1997.

Potebnia, Aleksandr. Estetika i poetika [Aesthetics and Poetics]. Moscow: Iskusstvo, 1976.

Sherekh, Yurii. Porohy i Zaporizhzhia. Literatura. Mystetstvo. Ideolohii: v 3 t. [Thresholds (Rapids) and Zaporizhzhia. Literature. Art. Ideologies: In 3 vols.]. Vol. 1. Kharkiv: Folio, 1998.

Ukrainka, Lesia. Selected Works. Translated by Vera Rich. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1968.

Ukrainka, Lesia. Zibrannia tvoriv: v 12 t. [Collected Works: In 12 vols.]. Vols. 4, 8, 11, 12. Kyiv: Naukova Dumka, 1976–1979.

Zabuzhko, Oksana. Notre Dame d’Ukraine: Ukrainka v konfl ikti mifolohiy [Notre Dame d’Ukraine: Ukrainka in a Conflict of Mythologies]. Kyiv: Fakt, 2007.

Zborovska, Nilа. Moia Lesia Ukrainka [My Lesia Ukrainka]. Ternopil: Dzhura, 2002.

Zerov, Mykola. Tvory: v 2 t. [Works: In 2 vols.]. Vol. 2. Kyiv: Dnipro, 1990.



2021-12-24 — Updated on 2021-12-29