Little known and underexplored, the Prologue to Sophocles’ Antigone – the one-act play conceived by the Viennese playwright Hugo von Hofmannsthal in the spring of 1900 for a Berlin production of the Sophoclean tragedy – represents an interesting attempt at a metatheatrical reflection on the Greek foundations of modern theatre, on the paradigmatic eternity of classical myths, and on theatre as a ‘mystery’ that conveys contents more true than those of everyday reality. The essay reconstructs the genesis of Vorspiel and highlights its main compositional demands. An Italian translation of Hofmannsthal text follows.
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