Ambivalence of the psychological reaction in the story of Friedrich Durrenmatt «Pilate»

in Ukrainian

  • Liudmyla Komarnitska Department of Social Work and Psychology, Podilskyi Special Educational-Rehabilitation Socio-Economic College
Keywords: F. Durrenmat, Pontius Pilate, God, psychological reaction, existential crisis


The article analyzes the story of F. Durrenmatt’s «Pilate», in which the author assesses the modern Godforsaken state of humanity through the prism of temporal, universal values, using conditionally symbolic, parableassociative forms (in particular, through the chronotope of the encounter of man with God). The purpose of the article is to find out the peculiarity of the transformation of Pontius Pilate’s image in the story by F. Durrenmatt and to reveal the poetically stylistic features of the artistic embodiment of the psychological state of a person in a situation of existential crisis. The research methodology is based on the use of structural-functional, comparative-typological, cultural-historical, contextual, hermeneutic, psychoanalytic methods. The study found that the conceptual dominance of the image of Pontius Pilate in the story of Durrenmatt is an opinion about the eternal and inevitable mistakes of a person in her relationship with the Higher power, about the inconsistency of the conception of God, and, consequently, the psychological reaction to the situation of the existential crisis. The work is deeply moral and philosophical, testifies to the plot rude cruel treatment of the prosecutor to God, his crucifixion and later awareness of his guilt. In the story, the author clearly focuses on the problem of the motive of guilt, which is too complicated with the motive of fear that dominates in the work. The ambivalence of the psychological answers of Pontius Pilate is caused by the ambivalent position of God, caused a crisis in the opinion of Pilate. The scientific novelty lies in the definition of an individual author’s strategy of rethinking the history of Pontius Pilate as one of the most productive traditional objects in world literature. The potential factors of interpretation of this plot and their influence on the transformation options of traditional material are characterized. The material of the article can be used in the process of studying various university courses, in developing selective philology courses in higher educational institutions, in preparing textbooks and manuals for secondary and higher education. 

Literatures of the Western Europe and the USA