Hernani is a play written by Victor Hugo which inaugurated the kind of the romantic Drame. It was published in 1830 and was represented for the first time at the Comédie-Française the February 25th 1830, which started the Bataille of Hernani. This battle opposed the modernistic ones and the traditionalists. Bases like the three units (of time, place and action) are called into question by this part. It is one of the most famous works of Hugo.
- Don Carlos
- Don Ruy Gum of Silva
- Doña Sol of Silva
- the King of Bohemia
- the Duke of Bavaria
- the Duke of Gotha
- the Baron de Lutzelbourg
- Don Sancho Sanchez de Zuniga, count de Monterrey
- Don Matias Centurion, marquis d' Almuñan
- Don Ricardo de Roxas, lord of Casapalma
- Don Garci Suarez
- Don Francisco
- Don Juan de Haro
- Don Pedro Guzman de Lara
- Don Gil Tellez Giron
- Doña Josefa Duarte
- a mountain dweller
- a lady
- First entreated
- Second entreated
- Third entreated
- Entreated sacro-holy League, German and Spanish
- Mountain, lords, pages, people, etc
The author reaffirms his dires exposed in the Foreword of Cromwell: it is necessary to break the rules of the traditional theater and to reaffirm the esthetic ambition of the new generation, the romanticism. He also asks, and especially, the development of the public, the true public, people, because it is him which makes works immortal, and which " poetry has the same currency as the policy: TOLERANCE AND LIBERTE"
The principal action is in Spain in 1519 (from February to August).
Act I: King (Saragossa, a room to be slept)
Don Carlos is introduced incognito in an young girl, Doña Sol, and hides in a cupboard on arrival of Hernani, an outlaw whom she loves. But Don Carlos leaves his hiding-place and the duel seems inevitable when the old duke Ruy Gomez occurs, the uncle de Doña Sol, but also her husband-to-be. To save the situation, Don Carlos reveals that he is the king of Spain. Protected by Gift Carlos, Hernani can leave not without to have been appropriate of an appointment with Doña Sol; remained only, the young man lets burst, in aside, his desire of revenge and his hatred for the king.
Act II: The gangster (Saragossa, a patio of the palate of Silva)
The following day, Don Carlos tries to remove Doña Sol, but Hernani intervenes; the king refuses the duel and Hernani, with size, leaves him the safe life. Finally only, the couple of lovers enjoys, during one moment, a shared happiness, but the alarm bell stops them: Hernani, sought by the guards of the king, must flee.
Act III: The old man (the castle of Silva, in the mountains of Aragon)
Pursued and disguised as a pilgrim, Hernani is accommodated by Don Ruy Gomez, which is on the point of marrying Doña Sol. Two young people find and reaffirm their indéfectible love; Don Ruy Gomez, which has surprised the scene, saves despite everything Hernani: indeed, the king has just arrived and requires the outlaw; in front of the refusal of the duke, it takes Doña Sol as an hostage. Don Ruy Gum and Hernani are appropriate then of a pact: they will avenge Doña Sol and Hernani will die when Don Ruy Gomez requires it.
Act IV: The tomb (Aachen, in the tomb of Charlemagne)
Aachen, Don Carlos awaits the results of the imperial election while thwarting a plot: among entreated Don Ruy Gomez and Hernani are; this last, indicated to assassinate the king, refuses to leave his place to Don Ruy Gomez, which however proposes to him to break the pact. Elected official emperor, Don Carlos forgives with entreated and announces the marriage of Doña Sol with Hernani, which reveals its true identity (because it is noble and not an outlaw) which is that of Jean d' Aragon and gives up his idea of revenge.
Act V: The wedding (Saragossa, on a terrace of the palate of Aragon)
In Saragossa, the weddings of Doña Ground and Hernani take place; but Don Ruy Gum, relentless, comes to require the respect of the fatal pact; Doña Sol is poisoned, imitated by Hernani. Don Ruy Gomez is stabbed then on their bodies.
The theory of the romantic dramaOne cannot speak about Hernani without evoking his kind: the romantic drama. Some theorists of the years 1820 like Stendhal (Root and Shakespeare) or Manzoni (Letter with Mr Chauvet on the time and unity of place in the tragedy) had contributed to the birth of a new theatrical esthetics. Victor Hugo, young poet and dramatic author, having recently finished the unplayable drama Cromwell, wants to conquer the Parisian scene, to challenge the tragedies which he considers too far away from the spectators and to impose the idea that poetry “is always superimposed on the company”. The part carried in the original edition the subtitle the Castillan honor.
The creation of the part
After the drafting of the foreword of Cromwell in 1827, where he affirmed the need for breaking the rules of the traditional Théâtre, Hugo returned to the lyric Poésie with in particular the Odes and Ballades (August 1828), which is worth the protection of the king to him, and Eastern the (January 1829). As it always wished to cut down the traditional ones on their admitted ground, the tragic theater, it connected also the projects and the failures, thus Amy Robsart , failure with the Odéon in February 1828. But the success of Henri III and its court in 1829 of his/her friend Alexandre Dumas gave again strength to him and it was harnessed with a historical drama in Spain (French subjects being systematically censured by the royal capacity, such Marion Delorme and a duel under Richelieu ). It was Hernani .
The drafting was spread out August 19th with the September 24th 1829, and it lute its work the September 30th with his/her friends of the romantic Cénacle, who almost approved it without reserve. It obtained the authorization to create its part with the French Théâtre, the critics wishing to once cut down it for all, and a new reading the October 5th in front of the troop of the Comédie-Française caused enthusiasm. At once distributed, the part entered in Répétition.
The repetitions were however difficult: Miss Mars, star of the troop, playing Doña Sol, had the rather traditional taste, even if she wished to help this young person and talented author, and lent itself badly to boldnesses of your romantic; others like Firmin, Hernani a little hand lantern, and Michelot, gift Carlos more elegant than vigorous, feared especially the future confrontation. Several, of which in particular Joanny, former soldier with the orders of the Général Hugo, and who thus wished to pay homage to the son by interpreting Don Ruy Gomez, were however enthusiastic to break the bombastic yokes of the traditional play.
The critics peeled the manuscript until January, the part being delayed by the success of the Othello of Shakespeare put in scene by Vigny, cutting certain passages (but for political reasons or nuns, critics being made honor leave boldnesses stylistics, hoping that “bad the marked taste” would discredit their author definitively), whereas a cabal was formed in the press, carried out by the traditional ones, aiming at demolishing in advance new work, which did nothing but consolidate Hernani in its row of " manifeste" new generation, which thus had time to prepare with the battle.
At the time of the first representation, the part started sharp and surprising reactions between the traditional ones come to destroy the dispute in egg and the romantic ones come to support their champion. It was the Bataille of Hernani .
See detailed article: Battle of Hernani
But, in spite of the battle which made rage, the part was a true success (receipt of 4 940,65 francs) and Mame poured its due to the author and forthwith bound it, according to the legend, by a contract of edition. The following representations increased the intensity of the battle but the part had found its public and success was not contradicted, Victor Hugo being carried with naked by the new generation. Thus, as Théophile Gautier notes it, " for the generation of 1830, Hernani was what Cid for the contemporaries of Crow was . All that was young, valiant, in love, poetic, accepted the souffle." from it; Hugo, against the systematic panning of holding of traditional, such as Charles Maurice, Holy-Beuve or Jean Viennet, however accepted the support of many people out of her generation, such as Victor Pavia or Châteaubriand which wrote to him the shortly after the first: " I saw, Sir, the first representation of Hernani . You know my admiration for you, my vanity sticks to your quadrant, you know why. I from go away, Sir, and you come. I recommend myself to the memory of your MUSE. A pious glory must request for the morts."
The part was then taken again in 1838, not without difficulty because the statutory authorities of the Monarchie from July sought to erase romantic works with the Comédie-Française, and several other times before 1849. But Victor Hugo being detached from the imperial capacity, Napoleon III prohibits all his parts all along the Second Empire, and it was necessary to await 1877 to see redécouvrir this part, with Mounet-Sully and Sarah Bernhardt, where one could hear it for the first time in his whole and not censured version. In 1952, the part had been played 906 times at the Comédie-Française.
One can however think that if Hernani gained the battle against the traditional ones, it underwent a certain panning of its image, because she is much played and known today that other parts of the romanticism, such as Ruy Blas of the same author or Lorenzaccio and One badine not with the love of Musset.
Victor Hugo takes as a starting point various sources to crystallize in the Hispanic legend of Chevalerie, as in Cid of Corneille, to which it referred readily, romantic ambition of its generation. It thus draws its subject, according to its dires, of a passage of an old Spanish chronicle: " Don Carlos, as long as he was only archduke of Austria and king d' Espagne, was a prince in love with his pleasure, large runner of adventures, serenades and thrusts under the balconies of Saragossa, readily charming the beautiful ones with gallant, voluptuous and cruel with the need. But of the day when he was emperor, a revolution was done in lui." It then undoubtedly drew Hispanic environment from its memories of this country, where it lived some time following his father during the Napoleonean programs, and of recent texts on the local history, always according to its dires. One can also note analogies with parts which perhaps inspired certain passages to him: Tisserand of Segovia of Alarcon or Devotion with the cross of Calderon (stories of love, honor and blood) but also of the Latin sources, such as Evadne off the Statue of Lalor Sheil (the scene of the portraits), Egmont of Goethe, the Brigands of Schiller…
new romanticism in Hernani
- Topic and construction: Although the part is divided classically into five acts in Alexandrin S, where the young author became already Master, and draws his topics from sentimental intrigues of the traditional philosopher's stones raciniennes and cornéliennes, Hernani is a work with the resolutely new tone. It differs by its principles and its processes, joining again sometimes with a tradition shakespearienne, clearly evoked in the foreword of Cromwell . Thus the author mixes with the darkest Tragédie and the highest passions, the ardor of youth and a Comique characters (servants resolutely molièriens), it allows themselves to make die characters on scene, thus destroying the role of the confidants and the messengers of the traditional theater, because here all occurs on scene. It brings also a big part of purely visual spectacle in costumes of time: royal escort with the torch (act II), entered military (act III). Here each act is an entity which receives a title, whereas the traditional theater wants to be linear. And of course, the author destroys in an absolute way the three rules of unit of the traditional Théâtre: a place (here a different place by act), one day (the part is stretched over several months), an action (the intrigues political and in love intermingle joyeusement).
a new esthetics: Victor Hugo first of all breaks the alexandrines, which in the traditional tragedy were to be whole and full. Thus this example which was worth whistles to him: " Would this be already him? - It is well in the staircase/Dérobé." It softens the rhythmic one and even wishes as the actors do not stop at the end of the Towards, it wishes that the life left its part. In its flights Lyric S, Hugo exalte youth, the love, the picturesque one of the life in a sharp and large poetry, which shows well which great author it is. By its bright colors, its flamboyance, its heroes even, Hernani is sensitive in prey to impulses which dominate it and Gift Carlos is a young dandy who, when he becomes monarch, absolute has democratic ambitions, they are the romantic heroes image of the youth of 1830, Hernani is the part which revealed the romanticism, it is the act of faith of the romantic drama. Will follow the parts of Musset, Vigny, Gautier, and later of Rostand…
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