Presentation on theme: "Zbyszko and Danusia. The love between Zbyszko of Bogdaniec and Danusia is one of the motives in “The Knights of the Cross” (Krzyzacy), a historical novel."— Presentation transcript:
Zbyszko and Danusia
The love between Zbyszko of Bogdaniec and Danusia is one of the motives in “The Knights of the Cross” (Krzyzacy), a historical novel written in 1900 by Polish writer and Nobel laureate Henryk Sienkiewicz.
The novel The history of the actual German Order of the Teutonic Knights, which since the 13th century had controlled parts of the Baltic Sea coast, and its defeat in the Battle of Tannenberg (1410)/ Battle of Grunwald by Poles and Lithuanians serves as the backdrop for the story. The novel also focuses extensively medieval life and customs in both the cities and the country in medieval Poland.
Their first meeting „Krzyżacy” tells the story of the young poor nobleman Zbyszko of Bogdaniec, who with his uncle Maćko of Bogdaniec was returning from a war against the order of the Teutonic Knights in Lithuania. In a tavern inn he fell in love with the lovely Danusia, who is traveling with the court of the Duchess Anna. Danusia was a 12 year-old, fair–haired, angel-like, slim and delicate girl.
Their first meeting
Falling in love Danusia was singing and playing the lute standing on the table. Suddenly the table collapsed but Zbyszko saved her from falling down. It was a love from the first sight. He swore to her his knight's oath and promised to bring her "three trophies" (peacock’s feathers) from the Teutonic Knights.
Saving Zbyszko However, on his way to the royal city of Cracow, Zbyszko attacked Kuno von Liechtenstein, who was an official diplomatic delegate of the Teutonic Knights. The penalty was death. Yet on the gallows Danuśka saved him when she jumped onto the platform in full view of the crowd and promised to marry him, covering his head with a handkerchief (an old Polish tradition that carries with it a stay of execution if the couple wed).
Separation Girl’s father, Jurand, did not accept the marriage so the couple separated. Then Zbyszko and Maćko return home to their estate, where they rebuild their mansion. Zbyszko missed Danusia so much that after some time he found his love.
Marriage Because Zbyszko was severely wounded by a „tur” (a strong, wild animal) while hunting, the couple decided to marry in secret.
Kidnapping of Danusia But Danusia was soon treacherously kidnapped by four Teutonic Knights, for they wanted to their revenge - her father Jurand. Jurand himself was eventually imprisoned in their keep, and cruelly tortured.
Danusia’s death Zbyszko's quest to find and save the kidnapped Danuta continued until he at long last rescued her and her blind father Jurand. But it was too late. Danuta had been driven insane because of her treatment at the hands of her captors, and eventually died.
netography a.html piszczatowski-duze.jpg The orriginal illustration from the book by Konstanty Górski. Pictures from a film „Krzyżacy” by Aleksander Ford with Grażyna Staniszewska as Danusia and Mirosław Kalenik as Zbyszko.