The image of the Flying Dutchman inthe literature of Romanticism
The paper touches upon the peculiarities of the so called “marine theme” in Romantic art as a whole, and its central image – the Flying Dutchman, in particular. The etymology of this image, as well its numerous literary interpretations make up the subject of the research. Three key literary works of Romanticism, the ballad by S.T. Coleridge, the libretto by R. Wagner, and the novel by H. Melville, are in the spotlight of the given paper. The roots of the Flying Dutchman can be traced in the texts by Apollonius of Rhodes and Homer – their legendary books“Argonautica” and “Odyssey”respectively, as well as in the Norse mythology, in Edda –a notorious Naglfar, the ship made of deadmen’s nails. At the Age of Discovery the story of a mysterious ship came to its final form. Being first mentioned in various European folk tales, with the course of time the plot became highly popular in late XVIII – XIX centuries. In Romantic literature the legend of the Flying Dutchman transformed into the allegoryof a man punished by Heaven for being too proud to resign himself to God’s will – a symbol of purgatory for sinners begging for mercy and forgiveness to rest in peace. Keywords: Flying Dutchman, Romanticism, Coleridge, Wagner, Melville.
International Burch University