Zemsta (Revenge) is a Polish comedy by Aleksander Fredro, a Polish poet, playwright and author active during Polish Romanticism in the period of partitions. Zemsta belongs to the canon of Polish literature. It is a play in four acts, written in the octosyllabic verse mostly in the vernacular of Lesser Poland (Małopolska); filled with proverbs and paraphrased allusions.
Real events inspired Fredro to write the play. In November 1828, Fredro married Zofia Jablonowska, whose dowry included the title to half of a castle located in Odrzykon in the province of Galicia. In 1829, when looking through the archives of the castle, Fredro came across some old court records related to a dispute dating from the 17th century between the owners of the castle's two halves - Jan Skotnicki and Piotr Firlej. The conflict was long and relentless. It ended after more than thirty years with the marriage of Firlej's son to Zofia Skotnicka, an end similar to that adopted by Fredro in his play.
The play serves as the basis for the opera Zemsta za mur graniczny (Revenge for the Boundary Wall) by Zygmunt Noskowski.
The play was adapted into a 2002 film, directed by Andrzej Wajda, featuring Janusz Gajos, Andrzej Seweryn (as Rejent Milczek) and Katarzyna Figura among others. Notably, the original story took place in Kamieniec castle, which is currently located in Odrzykoń, while the movie was filmed in Ogrodzieniec castle, located in Silesia province, Poland.
Notes and references
- Halina Floryńska-Lalewicz (May 2004). "Aleksander Fredro - życie i twórczość (Life and Work)" (in Polish). Olsztyńskie Towarzystwo Inicjatyw Kulturalnych - Kulturalna Polska. Retrieved December 9, 2012.
- Halina Floryńska-Lalewicz (May 2004). "Aleksander Fredro. Zemsta - opracowanie (construction of Zemsta)" (in Polish). Olsztyńskie Towarzystwo Inicjatyw Kulturalnych - Kulturalna Polska. Retrieved December 9, 2012.