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Durham e-Theses
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Grillparzer's adoption and adaptation of the philosophy and vocabulary of Weimar classicism

Roe, Ian Frank (1978) Grillparzer's adoption and adaptation of the philosophy and vocabulary of Weimar classicism. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



After a summary of German Classicism and of Grillparzer's at times confusing references to it, the main body of the thesis aims to assess Grillparzer's use of the philosophy and vocabulary of Classicism, with particular reference to his ethical, social and political ideas.Grillparzer'8 earliest work, including Blanka, leans heavily on Goethe and Schiller, but such plagiarism is avoided after 1810. Following the success of Ahnfrau, however, Grillparzer returns to a much more widespread use of Classical themes, motifs and vocabulary, especially in Sappho. Grillparzer's mood in the period 1816-21 was one of introversion and pessimism, and there is an emphasis on the vocabulary of quiet peace and withdrawal in Vließ, these ideals cannot help man out of the disaster and despair which Grillparzer repeatedly depicts in the 1810s and early 1820s, and there is a consequent tendency for the optimistic vocabulary of Classicism to appear incongruous. The more political plays of the 1820s reject the style and vocabulary of Classicism but still retain its central moral ideals. From I830 onwards, Grillparzer begins to examine more closely those ideals and concepts inherited from Goethe and Schiller, which had been doomed to failure in the pessimistic atmosphere of earlier years. The very validity of such ideals is now appraised, their relevance in political situations which Classicism had often neglected to depict. It is recognised that ideals considered as absolutes can only be achieved in isolation from chaotic human reality, and that any attempt to transfer aesthetic ideals to political and moral spheres may be detrimental to humanity rather than advantageous. There is a gradual return to Classical concepts such as moderation, limitation, right, truth, and especially "der Mensch", but these ideals must be standards for, not barriers to life and humanity.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Date:1978
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:18 Sep 2013 09:33

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