"Traduire en langue instrumentale" : le cas de La Mort d'Ophélie d'Hector Berlioz

Abstract : La Mort d’Ophélie is a ballad composed by Hector Berlioz in 1842, followed by another version in 1848. It originates in Queen Gertrude’s account of Ophelia’s death in Hamlet (act 4, scene 7). The process of creating this ballad involved several steps highlighting the translator’s role: The English text was first translated into French verse by Ernest Legouvé ; then it was set to music by Berlioz. Through this series of shifts, La Mort d’Ophélie gives us a unique vantage point to examine the relationship between translation and adaptation (as an intersemiotic translation). How does the music relate to the translated text? Is adaptation meant as a further step of translation, a complementary process? Or is it more like an actual retranslation, an added layer that relegates the text to a secondary role? Does an adaptation mean success where translation falls short, or does it infuse new meaning to the text? By examining La Mort d’Ophélie we will see how Berlioz manages the transition from drama to music. In his musical rendition of Ophelia’s death, Berlioz navigates the complexity of translation, appropriation and re-creation.
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Contributor : Gaëlle Loisel <>
Submitted on : Friday, February 10, 2017 - 2:46:30 PM
Last modification on : Saturday, February 11, 2017 - 1:06:19 AM


  • HAL Id : halshs-01464770, version 1



Gaëlle Loisel. "Traduire en langue instrumentale" : le cas de La Mort d'Ophélie d'Hector Berlioz. Doletiana, 2016, Traduction et interartialité, http://webs2002.uab.es/doletiana/Francais/Doletiana5-f/Doletiana5-f.html. ⟨halshs-01464770⟩



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