La Princesse Maleine
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NameEnglishNotesSymbolismSymbolism links
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HJALMAR, roi d'une partie de la HollandeHjalmar, King of Ysselmonde (part of Rotterdam; castle would ostensibly be on the island in the middle of the Rhine - Meuse - Sheldt Delta) Rotterdam is just north of the northernmost portion of Belgium. L55 "more than 70 years old"
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MARCELLUS, roi d'une autre partie de la HollandeMarcellus, King of Harlingen (northern port important for fishing and shipping); L45, "old" King Marcellus (father) also died soon after a meteor shower (maybe younger King Marcellus may be affected by the meteors which also appeared the previous evening)
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LE PRINCE HJALMAR, fils de roi HJALMARPrince Hjalmar - if King Hjalmar is mid-70s and the Prince is by his first (dead) wife (or maybe a 2nd wife?) how old would the prince be? Much older than Maleine. Could be as old as 50, but Marcellus describes him as "but a child." Is there a reason he's not already married? Is he a little nuts also? Awkward? Slow?
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LE PETIT ALLAN, fils de la reine ANNE"Little" Allan - clearly young - let's say for argument 8 or 9, which means Anne is not THAT old - at oldest maybe 40.
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ANGUS, ami du prince HJALMARAngus, friend of Prince Hjalmar - Celtic name, 2 parts of which mean "one / choice" - variant to the name is Aeneas
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STEPHANO, officier de MARCELLUSStephano, Officer of Marcellus - wreath or crown, reward or honor. Did he get the position as an honor or reward for his family? Is he the watchful or the lazy one?
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VANOX, officier de MARCELLUSVanox, Officer of Marcellus - Nox is Latin for night, and "va" is go - Night walker?
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UN CHAMBELLANA Chamberlain - chambelain manages the royal household, especially financially
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UN MEDECINA Doctor
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UN FOUA Fool
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TROIS PAUVRESThree "Poor" people - pauvres can be poor, weak, unfortunate - Three Unfortunates? NB, Maeterlinck does not use the specific word mendiant (beggar) here
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DEUX VIEuX PAYSANSTwo Old Peasants - could be either sex
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UN CUISINIERA Cook
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Seigneurs, officiers,
un vacher,
un cul-de-jatte,
pelerins,
paysans, domestiques, mendiants, vagabonds, enfants, etc.
Lords, officers,
a cowherd,
a legless person (figuratively, a lazy person - extremely pejorative)
pilgrims
peasants, servants,
beggars, tramps
children, etc.
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ANNE, reine de Jutland
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GODELIVE,femme du roi MARCELLUS
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LA PRINCESS MALEINE,fille de MARCELLUS et de GODELIVE
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LA PRINCESS UGLYANE URSULA, fille de la reine ANNE
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LA NOURRICE DE MALEINE ALETA, Lady-in-waiting to Maleine
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SEPT BEGUINES
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UNE VIEILLE FEMME
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DAMES D'HONNEUR, SERVANTES, PAYSANNES, etc.
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UN GRAND CHIEN NOIR NOMME PLUTON
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Le premier acte a Harlingen; les autres au chateau d'Ysselmonde et aux environs.
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Scène I
Les jardins du chateau
Entrent Stéphano et Vanox.
Scene I
The castle gardens.
Stephano and Vanox enter.
Music Note: Pierrot Lunaire, Moonstruck
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VanoxWhat time is it?
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StéphanoBy the moon, it must be midnight.moon, midnight
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VanoxI think it’s going to rain.pleuvoir fig. = pour/thick + fastrain (tears)
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StéphanoYes, there are some great clouds towards the west. They won't disturb us before the end of the party.clouds, West (In Chinese Buddhism, the West represents movement toward the Buddha or enlightenment (see Journey to the West).... In Ancient Egypt, the West was considered to be the portal to the netherworld, and is the cardinal direction regarded in connection with death, though not always with a negative connotation )
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VanoxAnd it won’t end before dawn.dawn
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StéphanoOh, oh, Vanox!
A comet appears above the castle.
comet
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VanoxWhat?
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StéphanoThe comet from the other night again!
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VanoxIt’s enormous!
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StéphanoIt looks like it will pour blood over the castle!
A shower of stars seems to fall upon the castle.
blood (ironic? - blood often symbolic of life, interchangeable with wine; inside the castle, everyone is drunk with life)http://umich.edu/~umfandsf/symbolismproject/symbolism.html/B/blood.html
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VanoxThe stars fall upon the castle! Look, look, look!meteor shower on the castle
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StéphanoI’ve never seen such a shower of stars! It looks like the sky is crying over this engagement (party)!crying over engagement
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VanoxOne says that all this forebodes terrible misfortunes!omens
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StéphanoYes; maybe wars or the death of kings. They saw such signs at the death of the old king Marcellus.exposition of guard's knowledge of omens: wars or death of kings
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VanoxThey say that these long-haired stars announce the death of princesses.comets / death of princesses / long-haired stars (this phrase is probably a Maeterlinck poetic invention)https://www.ancient-symbols.com/symbols-directory/comet-symbol.html
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StéphanoThey say… they say lots of things…
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VanoxPrincess Maleine will be afraid of the future!
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StéphanoIf I were her, I’d be afraid of the future [even] without the warning in the stars…
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VanoxYes; the old Hjalmar seems pretty strange…
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StéphanoThe old Hjalmar? Listen, I don’t dare say everthing I know; but one of my uncles is Hjalmar’s chamberlain; well, if I had a daughter, I wouldn’t give her to Prince Hjalmar.Marcellus' officer Stephano has an uncle who is the household treasurer for Hjalmar. Is this a servant class? Is this saying the two families/kingdoms are not SO removed?father / daughter giving away
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VanoxI don’t know… Prince Hjalmar…
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StéphanoOh, it’s not because of the Prince, but his father!...
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VanoxThey say he’s lost his…mad king!
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StéphanoEver since this strange Queen Anne arrived from Jutland, where they dethroned her, after having imprisoned their old king, ever since she arrived in Ysselmonde, they say… they say… after all the old Hjalmar is more than seventy years old, and I think he loves her a bit much for his age.Implied age difference between Anne and old Roi Hjalmar - how did she arrive from Jutland - and explains her wanting someone younger and more virile. Are her two children - one of marrying age, and a younger son - both of the same father?old king, too-young queen
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VanoxOh, oh!
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StéphanoThat’s what they say… -- And I don’t dare say everything I know. – But don’t forget what I’ve said today.
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VanoxThen, poor little princess!
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StéphanoOh, I don’t like these engagement (parties)! – Hey, it’s raining already!rain
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VanoxAnd maybe a storm over there. A bad night!
A valet passes with his lantern.
storm, valet with lantern
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StéphanoWhere’s the party?
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Le ValetLook at the windows.windows (eyes)
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VanoxOh, they’re not going out. (the lights)
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Le ValetAnd they won’t go out tonight. I’ve never seen such a party… Old King Hjalmar is completely drunk, he kissed our King Marcellus, he…inebriation
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VanoxAnd the fiancés (happy couple)?
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Le ValetOh, the fiancés aren’t drinking a lot. – Let’s go, good night! I’m going to the kitchen, we’re not drinking clear water either, good night!
He leaves
the young couple are NOT inebriated - they're not full of life??soberness
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VanoxThe sky is becoming black, and the moon is strangely red.black sky, red moon
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StéphanoHere comes the rain; and while everyone else is drinking, we're...
Here, the windows of the castle, illuminated at the bottom of the garden, are shattered; shouts, murmurs, chaos.
averse: could also be hail; Hovey: "It rains torrents" broken glass, chaos
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VanoxOh!
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StéphanoWhat is it? (What’s going on?)
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VanoxSomeone's breaking / They're breaking the windows!
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StéphanoA fire!fire
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VanoxThey’re fighting in the hall!
Princess Maleine, disheveled and completely in tears, passes running, at the far end of the garden.
au fond - literally in the depths; in stage directions it means upstage
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StéphanoThe princess!
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VanoxWhere is she running?
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StéphanoShe’s crying!crying
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VanoxThey’re fighting in the hall!fighting
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StéphanoLet’s go see!...
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Shouts, chaos.
The gardens fill with soldiers, servants, etc.
The doors of the castle open violently and the old kind Hjalmar appears appears on the steps surrounded by courtiers and halberdiers (check/research).
Above the castle, the comet. The raining of stars continues.
doors flung open, comet, meteor shower
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Le Rois HjalmarIgnoble Marcellus! You have done a monstrous thing today! Come, my horses! my horses! I am getting out of here! I am getting out of here! And I leave you your Maleine, with her green face and white eyelashes! And I leave you with your old Godelive! But wait! You’ll crawl on your knees through your own swamps! And it will be your engagement that I will come to celebrate, with all my halberdiers and all the Dutch crows at your funeral feasts!
Let's get out of here! Goodbye! goodbye! Ah! ah! ah!
He leaves with his courtiers.
Dutch crows? Vultures? Not sure about pertuisaniers
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_children_of_Woolpit
green face, white eyelashes
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Scène II
Un Appartement du Chateau On découvre la reine Godelive, la princesse Maleine et la Nourrice; elles chantent en filant leur quenouille:
Scene II
A room in the castle
We discover Queen Godelive, Princess Maleine and the nurse; they sing while spinning their distaff (primitive spinning)
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[Godelive, princesse Maleine, la Nourrice]The nuns are ill,
Ill in their turn;
The nuns are ill,
Ill in the tower.
Plague reference? Taking care of sick people, now it’s their turn? This is apparently an original bit, not a borrowed song.
Here's a video of distaff/spindle technique: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pFSdZdHCh40
nuns, plagueMusic Note:"Ring Around the Rosy"
Plague Link: https://www.florenceinferno.com/the-black-death/
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GodeliveCome on, don't cry, Maleine; dry your tears and go down to the garden. It's noon.
tears, garden, noon
Day and night symbolism -->
Noon is the time when no shadows can exist
http://www.symbolism.org/writing/books/sp/4/page3.html
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La NourriceThis is what I said to her since this morning, Madame..... What is the point of hurting your eyes? She opens her window this morning, she looks at a path to the forest and starts to cry; so I tell her: are you already looking at the path to the tower, Maleine...Nurse voicing the unspoken threat of dad putting her in the tower. It's happened before, and we all know that's what Kings do with their Princess daughters when they don't behave.woman locked in a / tower
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GodeliveDon't speak of that! / Don't talk about that!silence (repressed speech)
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La NourriceYes, yes, we must speak of it: we'll speak of it a bit later. I ask her then: are you already looking at the road to the tower where the poor Duches Anne was shut up up in the day, because she loved a prince she could not love.Old Duchess Anne (not the Jutland Queen) loved someone she couldn't love, so she has to punish Prince Hjalmar for the same. Interesting perhaps in light of The Prince of Orange's two wives named Anne.forbidden love, matchmaker
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GodeliveDon't speak of that! / Don't talk about that!
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La NourriceOn the contrary, we must talk about it, we will talk about it later. So I ask him... - Here's the king!
Marcellus enters.
nurse as truth-teller
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MarcellusWell, Maleine?« haleine» means « breath» maleine is not a word per se, but maybe he’s saying ill breath? Or does it come from Madeleine – as if she says it with only half her breath
Maleine -- Haleine? -- Madeleine? -- Maddalena? (Mary Magdalene)
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MaleineSire?
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MarcellusDid you love Prince Hjalmar?
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MaleineYes, Sire.
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MarcellusPoor child!... but do you still love him
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MaleineYes, Sire.
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MarcellusYou still love him.
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MaleineYes.
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MarcellusYou still love him after…?
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GodeliveMy Lord, don’t frighten her!
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MarcellusBut I’m not frightening her! Look, I come here in true fatherhood, and dream only of your happiness, Maleine. Let’s look at this coldly. You know what has happened: the old King Hjalmar offends me without reason; or rather, I suspect his reason too well! He ignobly insulted your mother, he insulted you still more deeply, and if he had not been my host, if he had not been there, God's hand, he would never have left my castle! – after all (though), let's forget today. But must you to blame us? - is it your mother’s fault or is it mine? Come, answer, Maliene?father, cold, blame
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MaleineNo, Sire.
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