Moses revisited. August Strindberg’s and Edvard Munch’s dramatic use of the figure of Moses


  • Camilla Storskog Università degli Studi di Milano


Parole chiave:

Strindberg, Munch, Moses, Bible, historical drama, parody


In this essay I explore the literary interpretation of the figure of Moses in August
Strindberg’s and Edvard Munch’s contemporary plays, Genom öknar till arvland (Through Deserts to Ancestral Lands,
 1903) and Den fri Kjærligheds By (The City of Free Love, ca. 1905). In the first case, the focus is on the
examination of Moses as an archetypical character. Analogies are subsequently drawn between the biblical
hero and other dramatic characters in the production of the Swedish playwright, such as Gustav Vasa or Birger
jarl. In the latter case, I outline the strategy for a parodic reuse of the biblical source in Munch’s
invention of a modern Moses created to mock his fellow painter and maestro Christian Krohg and the bohemian
ideal of free love. Although the qualities of the Moses character take on different and opposite meanings
in the two authors, it is of interest that the issue of a return to the common heritage of biblical culture
should make itself evident in the years following both Strindberg’s and Munch’s farewell to the secular
milieus of the Bohème.


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Biografia autore

Camilla Storskog, Università degli Studi di Milano

Camilla Storskog is a researcher in Scandinavian Studies at the University of Milan where she has been
teaching Scandinavian literature since 2003. Her ongoing research focusses on the impact of impressionism on
Scandinavian literature, which is also the subject of her current PhD dissertation. She has also worked on
issues such as autobiography, travel writing and the historical novel. She has extensive experience as translator of children’s books and poetry from Finnish and Swedish into Italian, and vice versa.




Come citare

Storskog, Camilla. 2011. «Moses Revisited. August Strindberg’s and Edvard Munch’s Dramatic Use of the Figure of Moses». Altre Modernità, giugno, 183-92.



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