Gotthold Ephraim Lessing - Emilia Galotti
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||Oct 19, 2009|
Emilia Galotti is a play in five acts by Gotthold Ephraim Lessing (1729 - 1781), which premiered on 8 March 1772 in Braunschweig. The work provides a classic example of German bürgerliches Trauerspiel (bourgeois tragedy). Other works in this category include Schiller's Kabale und Liebe and Hebbel's Maria Magdalene. The story is based upon the Roman myth of Verginia.
Emilia Galotti is a drama of the Enlightenment that doesn't precisely follow the standard French model of the era. Although love is a central theme, in reality Emilia Galotti is primarily a political commentary. The practically arbitrary style of rule by the aristocracy is placed in stark contrast to the new and enlightened morality of the bourgeoisie. All more feudal ideas of love and marriage thus come into conflict with the greater move by the population to marry for love rather than tradition and power. This combination proves to ensure a rather explosive situation.