The Plays of Heinrich von Kleist: Ideals and Illusions

Hardcover (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $44.95
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 70%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (6) from $44.95   
  • New (3) from $139.32   
  • Used (3) from $44.95   


This is a new and accessible study of the plays of Kleist (1777-1811), an important and much-studied author whose work has been highly influential in contemporary German writing. Seán Allan examines Kleist's critique of the aspirations of both Enlightenment and Romantic metaphysics, and offers resolutions of a number of long-running controversies in Kleist criticism. The book contains summaries of the state of research on all the plays. All quotations are given in both German and English, and full references are given to published English translations of Kleist's works as well as to the German originals.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...a comprehensive and reliable guide to Kleist's plays and to recent scholarly discussion of them. His command of the texts and Kleist's correspondence and critical writings is complete and his perspective balanced....An important source for all students, from undergraduates with no knowledge of German to graduate students and other scholars." Choice

"The introduction contains a valuable summary of the current state of research. Also included are a useful chronology of Kleist's life and works, as well as an index of works and names that excludes proper names from Kleist's works themselves. The thorough bibliography will be of help to scholars in the area. The general reading public will find the book a well written, readable introduction to the plays of Kleist." Philip Mellen, Germanic Notes and Reviews

"Seán Allan's book will serve as an introduction to Heinrich von Kleist and his plays." Marjorie Gelus, Monatshefte

"...this book offers a very readable and thought-provoking introduction to the versatility of Kleist's dramatic genius and his oppositional stance within the idealist frameworks of his time." Bernd Fischer, Modern Philology

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521495110
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 7/26/1996
  • Series: Cambridge Studies in German Series
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 5.43 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.87 (d)

Table of Contents

1. Introduction; Part I. The Young Kleist: 2. The quest for 'Glück'; 3. Die Familie Schroffenstein; Part II. Virtue Assailed: 4. Der zerbrochene Krug; 5. Amphitryon; Part III. Fictions of Femininity: 6. Penthesilea; 7. Das Käthchen von Heilbronn; Part IV. Kleist and the National Question: 8. Die Hermannsschlacht; 9. Prinz Friedrich von Homburg; 10. Conclusions; Notes; Bibliography; Index.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)