Tragedy in Paradise: Family and Gender Politics in German Bourgeois Tragedy 1750-1850

Overview

'Bürgerliches Trauerspiel' or bourgeois tragedy is the most popularly acclaimed and critically documented form of German drama. From the mid-eighteenth century, some of Germany's greatest dramatists turned away from classical subjects to focus instead on the intricate internecine struggles of the middle-class family. This book views bourgeois tragedy and related forms of 'family' drama as depicting the enactment of a threat to stability and domestic order, organised so that the threat is defeated and the anxieties of the predominantly ...
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Overview

'Bürgerliches Trauerspiel' or bourgeois tragedy is the most popularly acclaimed and critically documented form of German drama. From the mid-eighteenth century, some of Germany's greatest dramatists turned away from classical subjects to focus instead on the intricate internecine struggles of the middle-class family. This book views bourgeois tragedy and related forms of 'family' drama as depicting the enactment of a threat to stability and domestic order, organised so that the threat is defeated and the anxieties of the predominantly middle-class audience relieved; the author argues that these threats are represented as emanating from female figures who oppose and challenge the authority and order of a father or husband. Texts examined include Klinger's Sturm und Drang, Goethe's Stella and Die natürliche Tochter, Kleist's 'Über das Marionettentheater' and Hebbel's Maria Magdalene.
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Hart (German, humanities, U. of California-Irvine) views mid-18th- century Germany drama of bourgeois tragedy and related forms of family drama as an enactment of threats to stability and bourgeois or domestic order, created to defeat that threat and relieve the anxieties of a middle-class audience. She examines works such as Klinger's Sturm und Drang and Goethe's Stella, as well as Hebbel's later Italian plays. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

Table of Contents

Introduction
1 A Family without Women: The Triumph of the Sentimental Father in Lessing's Miss Sara Sampson and Klinger's Sturm und Drang 1
2 The London Merchant: Lessing's Critical Detour from Lillo's "Intercourse of Woe" and the Matter of Future Millwoods 24
3 Star-Gazing: Authority, Instinct and the Women's World of Goethe's Stella 41
4 "Das Wesen war' es, wenn es nicht erschiene?" The Spectacle of Goethe's Eugenie 55
Coda: "Kinder der Einsamkeit" Goethe's Variations on Family and Reproduction 70
5 Die Reue nach der Tat and Die Kindsmorderin Heinrich Leopold Wagner's Standards of Critical Deviancy 77
6 Kleist's "Uber das Marionettentheater" and the Effacement of Eve 91
7 Sara and Klara: The Anachronistic Agonies of Hebbel's Maria Magdalene and the Italian Aftermath 107
Conclusion 126
Works Consulted 129
Index 135
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