Gotthold Ephraim Lessing: Emilia Galotti. Ein Trauerspiel in fünf Aufzügen [Emilia Galotti. A Tragedy in Five Acts] (3214 words)

Friederike von Schwerin-High
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One of the most debated plays in the German literary canon, Lessing’s Emilia Galotti is the tragedy of a young woman who chooses to die rather than to engage in a love affair with the alluring but ruthless ruler of the small principality in which she resides. With its straightforward action, linguistic economy, limited cast of characters, and cohesiveness of design (its “dramatic algebra”, as Friedrich Schlegel called it), the play would seem to invite some measure of unity in its interpretations. Therefore, the greatest mystery about Emilia Galotti is perhaps the immense volume of critical contestation it has produced (M. Fick). First staged on the occasion of the Duchess of Braunschweig’s birthday on 13 …

Citation: von Schwerin-High, Friederike. "Emilia Galotti. Ein Trauerspiel in fünf Aufzügen". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 13 June 2008 [, accessed 07 August 2022.]

16336 Emilia Galotti. Ein Trauerspiel in fünf Aufzügen 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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