Fathers and Daughters

Fathers and Daughters

Patterns of Seduction in Tragedies by Gryphius, Lessing, Hebbel and Kroetz

Ingrid Walsoe-Engel


Hardback out of stock

Camden House



A study of the evolution of the sub-genre of seduction and tragedy through three centuries of German drama.
Stressing the verbal nature of seduction, with its roots in the unkept promise and the seduction discourse, the author reveals the core of the seduction interaction in the destruction of the father-daughter relationship. Once found sexually alluring by a man not of her father's choosing, the fate of the daughter is sealed. The only way she can demonstrate her virginal purity, to her father, her society, and herself, is by sacrifice and death.
In chapters dealing with Andreas Gryphius's Catharina von Georgien, Lessing's Miss Sara Sampson and Emilia Galotti, and Hebbel's Maria Magdalena, the author uncovers the archetypal patterns that always inform the dramatic conception of the daughter's seduction. Walsoe-Engel's analysis of Emilia Galotti is especially provocative, as she reveals the source of the much disputed inconsistency and ambiguity in the character of the title-figure. She provides a surprising answer to the age-old questions: 'Does Emilia love the Prince?' and 'Has Emilia been seduced?'


May 1993
186 pages
22.2x15 in
Studies in German Literature Linguistics and Culture
ISBN: 9781879751422
Format: Hardback
Camden House
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"This is a highly readable study with a wealth of subtle close reading. In tapping such a rich vein, the author will surely provoke readers to think further." MODERN LANGUAGE REVIEW

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