Dionizos Szymanowskiego. Różne oblicza boga w „Królu Rogerze”
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The Shepherd, who introduces a radical and irreversible change in life of the eponymous character of Karol Szymanowski’s opera King Roger, is an enigmatic and mysterious figure. Portrayed as possessing godlike qualities, he nevertheless cannot be fully identified with one particular supernatural being, as shown in the works of scholars that describe him as sharing several traits with Narcissus, Eros, John the Baptist or John the Evangelist. In spite of the Shepherd being commonly referred to as Dionysus, this name (like any other) does not appear in the opera’s libretto. As stated by the author of the article, the principal three forms of this ambiguous character are Jesus Christ, Dionysus and Apollo, each of them dominating in turn in the successive acts of King Roger.
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