Read e-book online Affecting Grace: Theatre, Subject, and the Shakespearean PDF

By Kenneth S. Calhoon

ISBN-10: 1442645997

ISBN-13: 9781442645998

Affecting Grace examines the significance of Shakespeare’s poetry and performs inside German literature and suggestion after 1750 – together with its courting to German classicism, which favoured unreflected ease over theatricality. Kenneth S. Calhoon examines this stress opposed to an intensive backdrop that features a variety of canonical German authors – Goethe, Schiller, Herder, Lessing, von Kleist, and Nietzsche – in addition to the appearance of Meissen porcelain, the portray of Bernardo Bellotto and Francesco Guardi, and facets of German kinds of architecture.

Extending from Shakespeare’s The service provider of Venice (c. 1597) to Kleist’s The damaged Jug (1806), this research activates the anomaly that the German literary global had all started to embody Shakespeare simply because it was once toning up the large yet suggested anti-Baroque sensibility came upon pivotally in Lessing’s severe and dramatic works. via those investigations, Calhoon illuminates the deep cultural alterations that essentially affected Germany’s literary and inventive traditions.

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Additional info for Affecting Grace: Theatre, Subject, and the Shakespearean Paradox in German Literature from Lessing to Kleist

Example text

Starting thus with examples from Shakespeare, Affecting Grace builds on scenes in which individuals are called to appear before a king or judge, or a monument that instantiates sovereign authority. 16). Lessing’s Nathan is similarly summoned, though his “Parable of the Ring” effectively displaces a despot with a judge, who in turn releases each man to his own judgment and to a destiny of his own fashioning. Nathan’s impromptu tale is a gift meant to appease a tyrant. Bach composed his Musical Offering, its title rich in sacrificial overtones, after being called upon to improvise a fugue before Frederick the Great.

Endet wie jedes gute Ding auf Erden, sich selbst aufhebend. Diese Selbstaufhebung der Gerechtigkeit: man weiss, mit welch schönem Namen sie sich nennt – Gnade; sie bleibt . . 24 Justice . . comes to an end like every good thing on this earth, by suspending itself. We know the fine name this self-suspension of justice goes by – Mercy; it remains . . the prerogative of the mightiest, or better yet, his Beyond the Law. Punishment (Strafe) is but a social codification of the violence and cruelty otherwise reserved for one’s enemies in warfare.

54 The phrase is rich in theatrical resonance, just as the desire to avoid the gaze is germane to the development, during 40 Affecting Grace the eighteenth century, of a mode of dramatic presentation in which actors began to perform as if no one were watching. With the advent of Diderot’s “fourth wall,” spectators, sitting silently in the dark, viewed the performance secure in the belief that they were invisible from the stage. This is itself an act: audience and cast allow each other the illusion of being unobserved.

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Affecting Grace: Theatre, Subject, and the Shakespearean Paradox in German Literature from Lessing to Kleist by Kenneth S. Calhoon


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