Slovo o zburenniu pekla

Slovo o zburenniu pekla (The Tale of the Harrowing of Hell). An Easter drama dating back to the late 17th and early 18th centuries. It is based on apocryphal tales of Jesus' descent into hell, whence he led all the sinners. It is the only example of 17th-century drama that was not written according to the scholastic edicts of poetics. It has neither prologue nor epilogue and does not follow the usual three-to-five-act structure. It is written in syllabically uneven lines of richly rhyming verse and is reminiscent of contemporary Cossack dumas. The language is close to the vernacular of the day, and its robust humor and depiction of everyday life account for its popularity and its influence on contemporary verse. It has been translated into English by Irena Makaryk (About the Harrowing of Hell, 1989). (See also School drama.)

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 4 (1993).]

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