It is a story of a Polish nobleman who has to flee the country because of trials and his creditors. “A crazy escapade” is the best description of the play’s character. A pair of actors who take several different roles engage in turbulent dialogs using words, gestures, and facial expressions. Describing Beniowski’s adventures is an emotional duel, full of humorous altercations. Who is the winner? Art, poetry, and Słowacki.
“Beniowski” was a conscious deliberation with the Great Poet Adam and the Koło Sprawy Bożej association, with whom Słowacki was in conflict. The reactions after the publication of “Beniowski” were extremely negative. There were attempts to force the poet to withdraw the content and to apologize to Poland. On the personal level, firearms were used as Słowacki was challenged to a duel.
What meaning does this Romantic „mayhem” have for us? It appears that although times and the reality change, we, the Polish, are exceptionally resistant to the teachings of history. Słowacki’s irony has not grown old either. “Beniowski” directed by Krzysztof Kopka justifies this claim. It is a great option for schools, literature experts, but also for those who enjoy intelligent forms of entertainment.
When well-educated people hear “Beniowski”, each of them can utter at least this: “a digressive poem by Juliusz Słowacki”. The digressions refer to general matters as well as personal ones. Słowacki discusses melancholy which he believes to be the Polish national disease and accuses Adam Mickiewicz of spreading it. By means of Beniowski, the character, he laughs at the Romantic lover’s ideal. He also engages in a polemic with the critics of one of his greatest works – “Balladyna”.