Tragedy in Paradise

Tragedy in Paradise

Family and Gender Politics in German Bourgeois Tragedy 1750-1850

Gail K. Hart


Hardback out of stock

Camden House



Examination of the German genre of `bourgeois tragedy', bringing out its underlying characteristics.
'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.


May 1996
150 pages
22.8x15.2 in
Studies in German Literature Linguistics and Culture
ISBN: 9781571130372
Format: Hardback
Camden House
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"Hart's analysis is sophisticated, precise, and focused; her readings nuanced and sound.... This is an exceptionally informative and eminently readable book." LESSING YEARBOOK 'This stimulating study concludes with an examination of the connotations of gender in Kleist's aesthetics and in the three plays with which Hebbel showed that the tradition of the buergerliches Trauerspiel had come to its end.' YEAR'S WORK IN MODERN LANGUAGE STUDIES

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