Słowacki, Juliusz

Słowacki, Juliusz yo͞ol´yo͞osh slôväts´kē [key], 1809–49, Polish writer, one of the foremost Polish romantic poets. A revolutionist, he joined the Polish expatriates in Paris and died there prematurely of tuberculosis. Słowacki was extremely conscious of the great literary traditions, and his works show the influence of other authors. His poetic tragedies deal with the conflict of good and evil, particularly in Polish history, and are reminiscent of the works of Shakespeare. Słowacki's Balladina (1834) and Lilla Weneda (1839) were drawn from early legends. His Horsztynski (1840) is known as the Polish Hamlet. King Spirit (1847), a philosophic poem influenced by Dante's Divine Comedy, reveals his later mystical tendencies and exemplifies his stylistic virtuosity. His epic of manners Beniowski (1841) brought the Don Juan theme to Polish literature. Słowacki is considered the national bard.

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