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Minna is a character of qualities, she's smart and has a will of her own.


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She's crafty and runs circles around the men with her wit. The plot isn't complicated, just appears so, since the reader is unfolding the secrets at the same speed as the characters, which is quite a clever technique, but I fear it will lose some readers who prefer omniscience to opacity. Best line, it is easy to like good people, but it's a challenge to like bad ones. Minna is successful with people because she accepts th Minna is a character of qualities, she's smart and has a will of her own. Minna is successful with people because she accepts their natures.

This is a very pleasant comedy, possibly one of the favourite comedies from the German Enlightenment, by one of Germany's literary masters. It is still played in German theatres today. Oct 29, Ahmed rated it really liked it Shelves: german-literature , plays. Mar 27, Arta rated it liked it Shelves: books-i-own , uni , classics. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.

Deshalb schreibt der Major seiner Verlobten auch keine Briefe. Auch seinen letzten Bediensteten Just muss er entlassen. Dabei lernt sie unter anderem den ehemaligen Wachtmeister Paul Werner kennen.

Sie gibt vor enterbt worden zu sein. Ich habe das Buch im Rahmen des Deutschunterrichts gelesen und fand es sehr interessant. Es ist wesentlicher Bestandteil des Lustspiels. Aug 08, Arbraxan rated it liked it Shelves: german-literature. It is often judged to be the most important comedy of German Enlightenment and a hallmark of German 18th century literature.

Set in midth century Berlin, the comedy tells the story of Lady Minna von Barnhelm, a young, rich and beautiful noblewoman from Saxony, and her betrothed, Major von Tellheim, the embodiment of duty and virtue. Recently discharged from the Prussian Army, von Tellheim is plagued by war wounds, contested claims and debts, yet he refuses help from his friend Werner, a sheriff and former constable, and only accepts assistance from his loyal manservant Just.

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Fearing he won't be able to properly provide for Minna, he wishes to annul their betrothal. Thus Minna and her servant Franziska have to cleverly overcome his honorable stubbornness by presenting von Tellheim's acquiescence to marriage as the only possibility to safeguard her honor - of course, von Tellheim obliges. REVIEW It is likely that a contemporary person - even a contemporary German - reading the play would not think much of it and miss many of its subtler nuances.

By making light of both Prussian and Saxon stereotypes, namely by extrapolating von Tellheim's integrity and sense of duty ad absurdum and depicting Minna von Barnhelm as frivolous, Lessing might have tried to contribute to the reconciliation of Saxony and Prussia.

Minna von Barnhelm

Alternatively, as Goethe put it in his review of the play: "The spiteful tension between Prussia and Saxony during the war could not be lifted by its end. Now more than ever the Saxon felt the pain of the wounds the proud Prussian had inflicted. The political peace could not immediately produce peace between minds. But this should be done through imaginary spectacle.

Nathan the Wise, Minna von Barnhelm, and Other Plays and Writings: Gotthold Ephraim Lessing

The Saxons' grace and loveliness surpasses the Prussians' value, dignity, stubbornness, and a happy union of bizarre and reluctant elements is demonstrated on both the main characters and their subordinates. This begs the question whether Lessing intended to foster reconciliation by focusing enmities on another nation; indeed, some of the play's first performances were without Riccaut. An even greater fear of censorship concerned the play's allusion to the king's discharge of the Freibataillone "free-batallions" after the Seven Years' War, which seems to have flooded the country with disgruntled veterans.

Nonetheless its success in Germany was astounding, in particular in Berlin. Another interesting facet of the play are the reviews it inspired in the early 19th century, e. These reviews, written after the Napoleonic Wars and during the heyday of burgeoning German nationalism, bear testimony to the struggle of isolating something genuinely German amidst the Austro-Prussian dualism, the legacy of the Holy Roman Empire and the persistent religious divide made evident by the Thirty Years' War and its horrors.

Grillparzer : "[ There is no French windbag of a servant, his master's confidant; instead the bawdy, rough, German Just.

The innkeeper certainly has a typical businessman's character; but then again Franziska! How loquacious and snippy, yet still a good soul and valiant and modest. No trait of a French waiting-maid, to which the German ones in life and on stage still owe their origin. German: plain and honest. Commentary sections below German media reporting on the Greek debt crisis are replete with narratives of the gullible and well-meaning German being defrauded by malicious foreigners preying on his naivete. Likewise, plenty of Germans have justified their rudeness or impolite manners by invoking the "roughness" of German culture, which sometimes is really nothing more than a lack of savoir-vivre.

Yet the play is relevant to modern times in more ways than this. Its narrative essence contains several streams, which I would like to see further developed in today's context, though they have been the source of artworks already: - the struggle of veterans with injuries and reintegration into civilian life and the effects thereof on veterans' relationships at home; - the reluctance of men to depend on women vs. Of course, the union of these streams into one seamless body is the mark of a true literary artist like Lessing.

Would like to see a play of it. Feb 13, Wickie rated it it was amazing. Miss Sara Sampson was heavy going, but this is a light-footed critique of masculine, military Prussian values in opposition to fulfilment and happiness in the private sphere. It's considered to be the first 'national' German drama, set in the contemporary world of the Seven Year War, and treating questions of regional resentments between Prussia and Saxony.

It's a marvel how Lessing managed to spin a very simple tale into five entertaining acts, with a deal of tension. Aug 20, David Redden rated it it was ok. Lessing was very influential in divorcing European theater from the stifling limitations of the supposed three unities, and this is reportedly a well-loved play in Germany, but I couldn't get into it. I suspect it is meaningful for reasons I don't understand because of my distance from the time and culture. Or it could be that it is a good-natured and fun play, but that quality doesn't come shining through in the English translation.

Either way, it was hard to appreciate. Shelves: auf-deutsch-gelesen , fiction , humor , classics. I saw this performed on stage in Munich shortly after reading it and realized how much of the humor I'd missed on the printed page. I think plays must always be seen, not read. Comedy of manners too outdated for our time especially for teenagers. Aug 24, Naz Gul rated it liked it. Aug 10, Dania F rated it liked it. Great classical comedy in five acts. Centered on the theme of honour and money.

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Entertaining short read with a great strong female character. Jan 25, Jessica rated it it was ok. Irgendwie lustig, aber auch so antiquiert Jan 06, Turtelina rated it liked it Shelves: A book that I had to read for Uni. One of the better Reclam booklets that we had to read so far. Even amusing at times. Hassan rated it liked it Mar 16, Ulrike rated it liked it Dec 29, Manuela Cohen rated it liked it Feb 24, Daniel Tahmazyan rated it it was ok Feb 14, Invisibleitalics rated it it was ok Feb 20, Films that went further back than that were almost always fairytale films and operas but there were a few exceptions.

The lady turns out to be Minna, who soon discovers that her beloved had sold his ring to help pay his debts. In an attempt to level the playing field, Minna pretends to be penniless too. Pretty soon, romance starts budding between the two accomplices. The play was immensely popular in Germany and has been filmed several times usually for television. In Germany, it continues to be performed to this day. Goethe even performed in a production of it when he was young.

The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Lessing, Gotthold Ephraim

Playwright Lessing was born in Kamenz, near Dresden. He was the son of Lutheran minister and he went at the University of Leipzig where he studied theology, medicine, philosophy, and philology, which is a helluva course-load. There he met Friederike Caroline Neuber, an actress of renown in Germany. Neuber enlisted Lessing to translate French plays into German for her. Lessing became fascinated with the form and soon was writing his own plays. He kept the job as general manager there until , when Hitler came to power.

Lessing was fired because he was a member of the German Communist Party. Thereafter, he held several jobs, often losing them because of his political beliefs. Like nearly every other able-bodied man in Germany, he was eventually drafted into the war effort. After the war, Hellberg went back to the theater.

Hellberg was still working when the Wall came down, but he was already well into his eighties by that point. He died in Playing the excessively proud Major Tellheim is Otto Mellies. Born in , Mellies attend the drama school in Schwerin from until and began appearing in on stage soon thereafter. He became a regular member on the company at the Deutsches Theater in Berlin, and remained a member of the company for fifty years. Since , he continued to appear films and TV-movies, as well as providing the voice for the German dubs of everyone from Paul Newman to Christopher Lee. The character of Werner is based on Paul von Werner, a Prussian officer who gained fame for his bravery in the Seven Years War and later went on to become the commander of Naugarten in Brandenburg.

He died in and is buried in Toszek—now part of Poland. She takes over the screen every time she appears. One of the most remarkable things about Minna von Barnhelm is its cinematography and lighting. The images are sharp and colorful. In some respects, this play seems like just the type of romantic comedy that Hollywood would have been all over in the fifties. Ironically, while the film was still playing in cinemas, virtually the same scenario was playing out in the East German town of Streufdorf where troops were enlisted to quell a protest against the forced eviction of residents.