Strindberg och skräcken : Skräckmotiv och identitetstematik i August Strindbergs författarskap
Sammanfattning: The subject of this dissertation is the theme of identity in the works of August Strindberg and how this theme is explored through the use of motifs drawn from the literature of horror and fantasy as well as Swedish folklore. The theme deals with how the individual’s identity is shaped and what it consists of, and how it can be manipulated, stolen or lost through interaction with other people.The motifs studied are those of the homunculus, ghost, vampire and doppelgänger. These motifs are associated with their own specific set of functions, most of which in some way relate to the theme of identity. The motifs interact with each other and with the theme itself, creating an interplay which remains a constant throughout Strindberg’s works.Strindberg makes use of the motifs in both a metaphorical and literal sense, with for instance ghosts in some texts appearing as real to the characters who see them and in other texts being used metaphorically to represent the individual’s guilty conscience. This metaphorical use of the motifs shows how Strindberg appropriates the motifs from the genres in which they originally appear and reinvents them by giving them new functions in his own works. The texts studied show how Strindberg by using these motifs and transforming them makes them an integral part of his exploration of the theme of identity, which in turn is shown to be of central importance to an understanding of Strindberg’s works.
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