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By William C. Reeve

Kleist used to be a tremendous dramatist in the beginning of the 19th century and Käthchen was once one among his maximum degree successes. Reeve offers a quick define of the Kleist family members involvement within the Prussian aristocracy and Kleist's reactions to his history. He additionally surveys the literary critics' makes an attempt to return to phrases with Käthchen, noting a revisionist development which affiliates Kleist with the bourgeois liberalism of his time. whereas acknowledging the effect of the German Enlightenment, Reeve argues that the main major impression on Kleist was once his noble historical past. Reeve's shut textual research of Das Käthchen von Heilbronn makes use of the version of the aristocrat which pulls upon Nietzsche's used to be ist vornehm? and the works of Anthony Ludovici, John H. Kautsky, and others, a version which has remained nearly unchanged because the heart a long time. Reeve examines Kleist's use of symbolic and descriptive names in Käthchen, displaying how they emphasize his ties to the aristocratic, and compares Kleist's drama to 2 different performs that includes socially forbidden love, Friedrich Schiller's Kabale und Liebe and Friedrich Hebbel's Agnes Bernauer. regardless of his efforts on the contrary, Heinrich von Kleist used to be not able to disregard or deny his aristocratic history. It left an indelible mark on his works, particularly, as Reeve demonstrates, Das Käthchen von Heilbronn.

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