Dziady (Forefather’s Eve)

By Adam Mickiewicz

Dziady (Forefathers’ Eve), written by Adam Mickiewicz, is one of the finest Polish romantic dramas. It is a national, historical and patriotic drama, yet also shows the drama of individuals caught up in the making of history.

It follows the story of protagonist Conrad, a romantic poet, who is unjustly imprisoned by the Russians who were occupying Poland during this time. He becomes a martyr who is prepared to give up everything for his country and his people. The remaining characters are chiefly prisoners, accused of conspiracy against the conqueror. Mickiewicz brings back the hope of Polish independence and gives a great picture of Polish society at such a difficult moment in history. Forefathers’ Eve in this adaptation explores universal questions such as: What does freedom really mean? How far am I prepared to compromise? How much can I let power corrupt me? How strong must faith be to triumph over evil? And finally, how do I endure the hardships of a tragic destiny?