Affecting Grace: Theatre, Subject, and the Shakespearean by Kenneth S. Calhoon

By Kenneth S. Calhoon

Affecting Grace examines the significance of Shakespeare’s poetry and performs inside of German literature and concept after 1750 – together with its dating to German classicism, which favoured unreflected ease over theatricality. Kenneth S. Calhoon examines this pressure opposed to an in depth 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 elements of German types of architecture.

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

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

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A more decisive break with the evanescent pleasures of the ancien régime is foretold in Mozart and da Ponte’s pre-revolutionary Don Giovanni (1787), which begins with Leporello declaring that he Mercy and the Spirit of Commerce 27 1 Francesco Guardi (1712–1793), Gala Concert in Honor of Princess Maria Fedorowna in Venice (1782). 5 cm. Alte Pinakothek, Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, Munich. Photo Credit: Erich Lessing / Art Resource, New York. 1 A seeming velleity, the servant’s nimble turn inclines more in the direction of the post-revolutionary aesthetics that anchored the unity of body and soul in a minimum of deliberation.

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. 25 Compare Shylock, whom the laws of Venice would condemn, but who is compelled instead to convert, his integration part of the same process in which the brutality that so nearly claims Antonio is neutralized.

14 Kant thus introduces a kind of self-mortification – purification through (sublime) pain of the “original thing” (Ursache), which as the “cause” of self-reproach is synonymous with “original sin” (Ursünde). Sublimation in the Kantian as well as the Freudian sense entails supreme fungibility, just as the demise of “superstition,” in both senses, connotes the attenuation of the hold that the “original thing” has over the subject. The ring of Nathan’s parable is one such Ur-Sache, its magic mitigated through reproduction: the man who finds himself in its possession has two perfect copies made so that he may bequeath a ring to each of his three sons.

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