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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.


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