Szczęsny Kluczycki

Biographical Outline

Probably Jan Feliks Kluczycki (1814–1895), journalist and historian, brother of the somewhat better-known Stanisław Edmund Kluczycki, a popular author on a range of scientific topics.

Kluczycki’s translation project appears to have been launched in isolation, and he remains almost entirely unknown. The choice of Othello was probably motivated by a particular attachment to that play.


Kluczycki’s version was the second complete translation of Othello and took up a polemical position with respect to the work of Józef Paszkowski. Kluczycki translated the play into unrhymed 11-syllable lines, in some places allowing for shorter and longer lines. He respected the division into prose and verse. The translation is direct and clear, but the imagery and the rhetorical flourishes are strongly toned down in an effort to achieve a mellower style free from vulgarisms or erotic allusions. There are no annotations.


The translation was published twice: in 1880 in Warsaw and in 1889 in Lwów. Both editions were cheap and aimed at a wide readership. The translation was not reviewed, merely noted in the press. It has not been reissued and has not been performed.

Bibliography of translations

Szekspir, [William Shakespeare], Otello. Tragedya w 5 aktach, tłum. Szczęsny Kluczycki, Wydawnictwo Dzieł Tanich A. Wiślickiego, Warszawa 1880.

[William Shakespeare], Otello. Tragedja w 5 aktach Szekspira, tłum. Szczęsny Kluczycki, Księgarnia Polska, Lwów 1889 [Biblioteka Mrówki nr 260–261].