n Acta Germanica : German Studies in Africa - Tragische Komödien : Zu den Frauengestalten in Kleists Lustspielen : Germanistik im Ausland




The following paper raises once again the question of the tragic elements in Kleist's comedies. It endeavures to answer it by investigating the female characters Alkmene in Amphitryon and Eve in Der zerbrochene Krug. Both are reminiscent of Schiller's concept of the "beautiful soul" which embodies a balanced harmony of duty and inclination, sensibility and moral sense (Sinnlichkeit und Sittlichkeit). But while being confronted with the demands of the people close to them, both women lose their innocent happiness and their natural faithfullness (Urvertrauen). They become innocently guilty and by that establish the classical concept of tragedy within Kleist's comedies.


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