Rudolf Steiner’s Third and Fourth Mystery Dramas: The Guardian of the Threshold, The Souls Awaken (CW 14)
Since the hundredth anniversary of Rudolf Steiner’s first mystery drama in 2010, there has been a revival of interest in the English-speaking world. There have been several productions in North America and England, and new mystery dramas have been written, imagining possible sequels to Steiner’s dramas.
This volume contains two new translations of the third and fourth mystery dramas, created especially for new productions in the UK. The Guardian of the Thresholdwas translated into blank verse (in which Steiner wrote all his dramas) and The Souls Awakeninto free verse.
Although Steiner’s four mystery dramas all build on one another, The Guardian of the Thresholdand The Souls Awaken—set more than a decade after the events of the first two plays—may also be seen as bringing a new beginning after the first two dramas.
An introduction by Richard Ramsbotham explores some of the questions surrounding the third and fourth of Steiner’s mystery dramas, including their relationship to events in the anthroposophic movement during 1923 and 1924. The introduction also discusses the increasing significance of the mystery dramas today.
This volume is a translation from German of two dramas from Vier Mysteriendramen (GA 14).
About the Author
Rudolf Steiner (1861–1925) was born in the small village of Kraljevec, Austro-Hungarian Empire (now in Croatia), where he grew up. As a young man, he lived in Weimar and Berlin, where he became a well-published scientific, literary, and philosophical scholar, known especially for his work with Goethe’s scientific writings. At the beginning of the twentieth century, he began to develop his early philosophical principles into an approach to systematic research into psychological and spiritual phenomena. Formally beginning his spiritual teaching career under the auspices of the Theosophical Society, Steiner came to use the term Anthroposophy (and spiritual science) for his philosophy, spiritual research, and findings. The influence of Steiner’s multifaceted genius has led to innovative and holistic approaches in medicine, various therapies, philosophy, religious renewal, Waldorf education, education for special needs, threefold economics, biodynamic agriculture, Goethean science, architecture, and the arts of drama, speech, and eurythmy. In 1924, Rudolf Steiner founded the General Anthroposophical Society, which today has branches throughout the world. He died in Dornach, Switzerland.
Richard Ramsbotham (M.A. Cantab.) was born in 1962. After teaching English Literature at Warsaw University (1989-1993), he trained at Artemis School of Speech and Drama and later worked as a performer and writer with the Rose Theatre Company. He teaches drama at the Glasshouse College, Stourbridge, and is writing the authorized biography of Vernon Watkins.
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