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Imaginative TranscriptsSelected Literary Essays$
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Willard Spiegelman

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195368130

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195368130.001.0001

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Peter Grimes

Peter Grimes

The Development of a Hero (1986)

(p.72) Five Peter Grimes
Imaginative Transcripts

Willard Spiegelman

Oxford University Press

This chapter criticizes English composer Benjamin Britten's opera Peter Grimes. It examines how audiences viewed and partly misunderstood the character of Peter Grimes and discusses the problems concerning the recreation of a literary character in another medium and the dilemma of making retrospective connections along a literary lineage. It suggests that Peter Grimes' embedding of his identity in the life of the community is similar to Britten's own communal life which demonstrates a commitment to the social relationships upon which all identity depends.

Keywords:   opera, Peter Grimes, Benjamin Britten, literary character, communal life, identity

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