UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

The treatment of women in the plays of Friedrich Habbel Hallamore, G. Joyce (Gertrude Joyce) 1926

Your browser doesn't seem to have a PDF viewer, please download the PDF to view this item.

Item Metadata

Download

Media
831-ubc_1926_a8_h2_t7.pdf [ 148.97MB ]
Metadata
JSON: 831-1.0099511.json
JSON-LD: 831-1.0099511-ld.json
RDF/XML (Pretty): 831-1.0099511-rdf.xml
RDF/JSON: 831-1.0099511-rdf.json
Turtle: 831-1.0099511-turtle.txt
N-Triples: 831-1.0099511-rdf-ntriples.txt
Original Record: 831-1.0099511-source.json
Full Text
831-1.0099511-fulltext.txt
Citation
831-1.0099511.ris

Full Text

U.B.C. LIBRARY CAT. WO A.CC. NO. >r^ /3 7 . (t2t-R%- HiTf 5 tf.C/( THE TREATMENT OF WOMEN IN THE PLAYS OF FRIEDRICH HEBBEL by Gertrude Joyce Hallamore A Thesis submitted, for the Degree of MASTER OF ARTS in the Department of MODERN LANGUAGES THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA April, 1926. CONTESTS In t roduc t ion - Biographical Hebbel 's conception of Tragedy E a r l i e r Heroines: A. Judi th B. Genoveva C. Klara D. Summary Later Heroines: A. Mariamne B. Agnes Bernauer C. Rhodope D. Brunhild and Kriemhild E. Summary Hebbel 's Place in the L ibera t ion of Woman I INTRODUCTION - BIOGRAPHICAL Under the heading December 31, 1836, in his diary Friedrich Hebbel has inserted the following lines, „Eine Erfahrung von Bedeutung glaube ioh uber mioh selbst im letzten Jahr gemaeht zu haben, namentlich die, dass es mir durchaus unmoglich ist etwas zu sehreiben, was sich nicht wirklich mit meinem geistigen Leben auf's Innerste ver-kettet."'•*•' The lines date from the period of his stay in Munich when his position as a writer was still very un-certain and his life a struggle against privation and obscurity. His experience in the world of letters, with its frequent failures and disappointments, had been limited, but the young dramatist had already realized, as shown by the lines quoted above, the vital connection between his literary production and his actual experience. It may indeed be stated that practically every work of the poet, certainly every work of permanent value, is based upon his own experience, either physical or spiritual, and it is necessary to appreciate this before the work can be judged. Especially is this true in a consideration of his heroines for behind each lingers the shadow, even where only faint, of a human prototype. Therefore, before considering these fictitious characters, it seems desirable to review briefly the main facts of his life and from his diary and ID T. I. 548. letters build up, in some degree, a definite picture of these women who were later to influence so largely his general portrayal of the sex. Christian Priedrioh Hebbel was born in the little village of Wesselburen, Sehleswig-Holstein on March 18, 1813, and from his earliest days he had that close contact with poverty and privation which embittered the greater part of his life. The strongest influence in these days of early childhood came from his mother who, although by birth and education in no way superior to the mason, her husband, was, however, possessed of a very much more sympathetic and under-standing nature. Young Friedrich, who from his earliest years showed the temperament common to all poets in its sensitiveness to the ugly and gloomy, was essentially in need of such a companion, and although even she failed, in many respects, to understand him, yet to her alone he owed certain advantages which were often denied to his young brother. To her he owed his early even if very inadequate tuition at a little private school, and to her also the fact thafhe was always kept in tidy, though patched, clothes and could hold his own, to some extent, with the richer children of the neighbourhood. With the passing of years, the conditions in which Friedrich lived in no way improved. His father, a man of the greatest integrity, oppressed always by want and anxiety, grew more and more despondent and gloomy.. From him the young poet could expect, and certainly received, no sympathy. Their natures were in every respect antagonistic and, to this exacting father, a son with no definite plans for the future, especially future earning ability, was an encumbrance. Consequently, since Friedrich himself showed no marked inclination for any particular branch of practical labour and was now of an age to become a bread-winner, it was decided by his father that he should, become a mason. Into this trade he was in due course initiated and probably nobody's expectations, not even those of his father, were shattered when he proved in every respect utterly unfitted for such a calling. A few years after this Klaus Friedrich Hebbel died and since his life had been a continual struggle against complete destitution, the family was left in even poorer circumstances than before. Friedrich now did his scant best to help by running errands, while his mother was obliged to do any odd mending or washing that could be obtained. For Friedrich, however, better times dawned with his introduction as secretary into the household of Mohr, the parish warden. Here, besides acquiring a considerable knowledge of law and legal methods, he was fortunate in having the use of the warden's rather considerable library, and here he partially made up for the deficiency of his early education by reading, with an incredible industry, much of the world's best literature, ancient and modern. From this time dates his admiration for Schiller which continued throughout his life, and in the poetry which he wrote during these years the influence of Schiller is clearly demonstrated as is that of Hoffmann in his early, rath©r juvenile, prose. The year 1835 brings to a close this early home-life of Hebbel; privation had been its main feature and the immediate future promised to offer him nothing very much better. A. mile-stone had, however, been reached; his early lyrics and prose had won at least some recognition from Amalie Schoppe, the editress of a somewhat obscure periodical in Hamburg, and the result had been the offer of a position in that city. Wessel-buxen could promise Hebbel no future worth considering, his great hope was to achieve a solid literary reputation and here surely lay the nearest way. With the keenest sense of anticipation, the offer was accepted and Hebbel launched forth into the literary world. He saw before him the realization of his dream; his mother well-established and her son a man of letters* Although his home and its limited outlook ware left almost with joy, the memory of those years was always most vividly retained and his gratitude to his first companion finds at her death beautiful expression when he writes:ttGute, rastlos um Deine Kinder bemuhte Mutter, Du warst eine > MartyrAia.*(l) Hamburg, to the young man let loose from the limitations of village life, seemed the open Sesame to boundless fame and financial solidity. These illusions were, however, all too rapidly dispelled and although his position offered him the opportunity to widen his scope in both learning and experience, its outlook toward self-establishment was anything but hopeful. Through the generosity of a friend of Frau Schoppe, Hebbel was assured of lodging, food and tuition; but to a youth with the (1) T. I. 1295. desire to support himself and offer his mother at least some monetary assistance, the sitxiation was mortifying to the last degree. The most significant experience of those few months of his early stay in Hamburg was the meeting with Elise Lensing. The acquaintance owed its origin to the editress, Frau Schoppe, who, however, on realizing the interest that Hebbel took in this young woman, began to direct all her energies to revok-ing her mistake. To Frau Schoppe there could be no advantage to her protege in a friendship with a woman ten years his senior and possessing neither means nor social standing. Her , efforts were, however, profitless for the bond became steadily closer and her only result was to reveal the meanness and pettiness of her own nature. ?i0 wie granzenlos hat sie in fruheren Jahren Elise beleidigt" Hebbel writes in his diary under the heading of March 2, 1840, nIoh errothe wenn ich mich errinere, dass ic& so Vieles still hingehen liess."^1) Elise became, from this time until his marriage in 1846, the outstanding factor in his life. Having herself known no real happiness in her youth, she was capable, as were few others, of understanding the poet's deep need. From her he received the most unselfish consideration and when his position under Amalie became unbearable, it was in the sacrificing love of Elise that he found relief. The irrita-tion he felt in this bondage under Amalie's patronizing tyranny is very vividly displayed in his comment of March, 1841, where he writes:„Sie ahnt nieht, dass sie meinem Herzen ('!•) T. II. 1922. fur Jeden Pfenning einen Blutstropfen entpresstl" y ' While under the same date, his debt to Elise finds utteranoe in the words, „(rOtt, sie ist die letzte, die mir die Welt ertragllch macht." *2) This life of dependence, however, despite the counter-acting influence of Elise, at last became unbearable. The increasing coldness between Hebbel and Frau Schoppe was aggravated by the jealousy of a former friend, Albert!, and the poet resolved to leave these surroundings of bitterness and spite and seek a new field of activity. Eager to remedy some of the defects in his very inadequate eduoation, he decided to study at the University of Heidelberg and, con-sequently, in 1837 he set out for that city. Elise, in her utter devotion, contributed to his support what she could -earn from her scanty earnings, and, consistent with her attitude of complete self-sacrifice throughout,her one aim was to be able to keep him, during his term there, at a safe distance from actual starvation. „Elise 1st es," the poet writes, "die mieh mit Aufopferung ihres ganzen kleinen Vermogens, sowohl in Heidelberg als in Munchen auf der Universitat erhielt und die dafur keinen anderen Lohn begehrte, als einen nicht gar zu unfreundlichen BriefI ^3^ Heidelberg, like Hamburg, however, failed to satisfy Hebbel and after a winter spent there, often completely destitute and obliged to remain In bed rather than run the risk of acquiring an appetite by unnecessary exercise, he 11) T. II. 1934. (8) T. II. 1935. (3) T. I. 1865. resolved to continue his course at Munich. The necessary money for the Journey was supplied by the never-failing Elise and on September 30, 1836, Hebbel reached his destination after a journey made for the greater part on foot. Munich, from the very first, appealed to the poet, not because he was financially more comfortable there but because of the feeling of independence which seemed to him to be in the very air. "Diese Stadt ist in Deutschland einzig und ohnegleichen," he writes at his departure, "man kann in ihr leben wie man will." ^ ' As a student at the university his stay here was probably not of very much value for he seems to have attended very few lectures and only those given by professors who in themselves appealed to his interest. He made great strides in his reading, however, and from the excerpts given in his diary of this date, it is evident that the works of such men as Gibbon, Jean Paul, Tieck, Tacitus, Sophocles and Dante were being read with great enthusiasm. To these Munich days belongs also his love affair with Beppi the young daughter of his landlord, a poor carpenter. A pretty, charming girl, but of a frailer fibre than Elise, both intellectually and morally, Beppi, in her infatuation for Hebbel, soon became his willing slave. This tended to lower rather than to raise Hebbel1s conception of woman and it is obvious that he never considered this attachment serious. Of this fact Beppi herself had warning in a dream, which Hebbel recorded in his diary: "Sie (Beppi) solle mich nur laufen lassen; ich verspreche Jeder das Heirathen."v ' TD • 12.) T. T. H74.. It is clear that Hebbel himself felt that if marriage were his ultimate duty, it was not marriage to Beppi but to Elise Lensing and his diary and letters at this time display a considerable amount of reflection upon this subject. "Ss giebt Falle, wo Pflicht-Erfullen sundigen heisst,"^1) shows in part his attitude, while in the letter to Elise, dated September 19, 1836, oecurs a passage which is important in explaining very largely his present, as well as future, re-lations to her. "Meinen Ansichten uber die Ehe wunsch' ioh keinen Beifall am wenigsten unter dem weiblichen Geschlecht. Sie gehen uberhaupt nicht auf die Ehe selbst sondern auf mein Terhaltnis zur Ehe. Mir wird allesUnveranderliche zur Schranke und alle Schranke zur Beschranlcung. Die Ehe ist eine burgerliche, physische und in unendlich vielen Fallen auoh auch geistige Kotwendigkeit. Der Hotwendigkeit ist die Menschheit unterordnet, jede aber ist mit Regalien verknupft. Das Individuum darf sioh der Hotwendigkeit entziehen wenn es Kraft hat, den Freibrief dureh Aufopferung zu losen; darin liegt seine Freiheit. Ich kann alles nur das nicht, was ich muss."' ' Ho one could, however, justly accuse Hebbel of failing to appreciate Elise's innate goodness, for certainly his gratitude to her has found innumerable expressions in his diary. "Ihr und nur Ihr danke ich was ich bin"(3) he wrote at a somewhat earlier period, and again, on leaving Hamburg for Heidelberg, "Das Madchen hfingt unendlich an mir; wenn meine kfinftige Frau die Halfte fur mien empfindet, so bin (1) 3?. I. 805. (2) Ty I. 509. (3) T* I. 1.700. ich zufrieden"* ' - a remark which, in its unconscious patroniz-ing of Elise, also clearly indicates the fact that his love for her had ceased, if indeed the feeling he had entertained for her could ever really have been called love. The growing difficulty of his relationship to Elise, combined with the sudden death both of his mother in September 1838 and of young Emil Rousseau, who had during this period been his only intimate friend, caused Hebbel the greatest possible grief and the last months of his Munich visit were characterized by a marked despondency. But, however black the prospects appeared to his pessimistic mind, he had made some considerable advance toward his goal of literary recognition, as many lovely lyrics date from this time as well as some prose stories such as Schnook, Die Beiden Yagabunden and Die Obermedizinalratin. The thirty-first of March, 1839, found Hebbel again in Hamburg and, despite his questionings, again accepting, as before, the love and consideration of Elise. The latter, having passed the winter with her hope fixed always upon this day of reunion, was the first to greet him upon his return and the four years of this second sojourn in Hamburg saw them living together unconventionally as man and wife. Frau Schoppe, forgetting, or at least concealing, her former antagonism, was also ready to receive Hebbel into the old literary circle, although her critical references to his private life seem to have been no less frequent or less bitter. Hebbel*s former friendships were renewed and his circle of acquaintances widened. The meeting and somewhat (1) T. I. 31. intimate association with Gutzxow, the Jung Deutsohland leader, is an important feature of his life at this time, al-though Gutzkow's personality never strongly attraoted him and he disliked the principles of his literary school. For, although surrounded on all sides by the enthusiasm and con-sequent excesses of this new movement, Hebbel was strangely unaffected by the contact and his early works show him in opposition to these new principles and as a champion of the older theories of poetry and the drama. Hebbel's first great achievement in the drama dates from this period and with Judith completed in January, 1840, his years of probation as a literary man were over and the veil was lifted before a promising career. The play was read and appreciated by several of hi* friends and through the efforts of Frau Sohoppe it was early produced in the Berlin Hoftheater, and in December of the same year, in Hamburg. The audienoe witnessing the production was immensely enthusiastic and Hebbel immediately became famous. Amid all this acclamation Gutzkow's was the one openly dissenting voice and as the criticism offered by this literary theorist was in no way Just or impartial, his attitude to Hebbel's work resulted in a com-plete breach between the two authors. Although fame had come so suddenly to Hebbel and his literary prospects were in every way so promising, the young dramatist was at this time spiritually far from contented. His bond with Elise had been further strengthened by the birth of a son, Max, but the references in his diary show him to be, at least temporarily, Infatuated with the daughter of an old patrician family, Emma SchrSder. The impossibility of the situation was painfully apparent and Elise, with fine tact, took the occasion to leave Hamburg for a short time in order to give Hebbel an opportunity of working out his own solution. The months during which this infatuation ruled were far .from happy ones. His relationship with Elise was no longer, if it ever had been, for his part, founded on real love. The sex attraction which had held him at first had long since passed away, and although he had always the greatest possible gratitude for the many sacrifices she had made for his sake, marriage to her he saw as the death of all his aspirations for the future. "Einen Brunnen unerschSpflicher Liebe" he calls her in one place and in another he cries "wie hoch stehst Bu uber mir, Pu die Bu so ganz Liebe bist"; yet although thoroughly conscious of the almost angelic beauty of her character, he felt that with marriage and its con-sequent limiting influence, his scope would be irreparably restricted. The spiritual anguish he must have experienced with the further aggravation of this already difficult situa-tion, is very easily appreciated and it is not strange that in Genoveva, appearing at the height of this conflict and reproducing in some degree the same situation, he should have given such a powerful depiction of human passion. Fortunately, however, Emma Schroder seems to have dis-appeared from his life almost as suddenly as she had entered it, although no satisfactory reason can be offered for the break. At a later date in his diary, August 39, 1843, on the occasion of seeing her again after his Copenhagen visit, he writes , *Der Veld e ines a l ten Welbes wusste uns aus einander su bringen, er wusste ihr Bild in melner Seele su verdunkeln, indem er ihr Reden uber mioh und S l i s e in den ifund l e g t e . " ^ ) From this i t i s suggested that her att i tude to El ise had been the chief oause and the breach may hare been a proof of Hebbel's s incer i ty when he wrote "Wahrlioh wer El i se auoh nur im Geringsten vernaohlassigt, der ble ibt nicht mein Freund."(2) The completion of Genoveva was followed by a period of depression during which Byron was h is favourite source of in-spiration. More helpful and invigorating was, however, the influence of Uhland, who v i s i t e d Hamburg at this time. Hebbel's meeting with this poet whom he great ly admired, and the favor-able comments of the older man on his work, inspired him once more to aotlon and he resolved to gain, i f humanly poss ib le , the opportunity for travel and i t s broadening influence. His hopes were centred upon Christian the Eighth, king of Denmark, and, consequently, with set purpose, he l e f t Hamburg on November 12, 1842, for the Danish capi ta l , Copenhagen. After months of discouragement and delay, Hebbel received the announcement of h i s sucoess. On April 27 he l e f t Copenhagen with the grant of a travel l ing bursary to begin in the autumn. The intervening summer of 1843 was spent in Hamburg, during which time Hebbel busied himself with Maria Magdalene and the c r i t i c a l work Me in Wort uber das Drama. In September he set out for Paris where, although l i v ing in a most frugal fashion, he was supremely happy. Paris delighted him in every respect and h is v i s i t s to the h is tor io landmarks were a (1) f. I I . 2769. (2) T. I I . 2356. continual source of pleasure. Many literary friendships were made in this city which, to Hebbel, appeared so hospitable -one of his most valued privileges being his meeting with Heinrich Heine. These months were by no means without sorrow, however, for in October, soon after his arrival, he received one of the greatest blows of his early life in the announcement from Elise of the death of their son Max. The sorrow and remorse felt by the father on this occasion were intense and his diary and the letters of consolation to Elise show how deeply this misfortune affected him. "TJnd wie oft war ieh hart, grausam gegen das Kind, wenn es mir in finstern Stimmungen in seiner ruhrenden unschuldigen Lebenslust entgegen trat. 0 dass ieh nie geboren w&rel Der Seufzer kommt mir aus tiefster BrustI" (1) The intense grief of this outcry remain-ed acutely bitter for several months and the news of the birth of a seeond son heightened rather than relieved the sorrow at the loss of the firstborn. Yet, when he finally left Paris in September, 1844, it was not with the memory of the sorrow he had suffered but rather of the joys experienced there and lovingly Hebbel bids her farewell. "Paris wird immer der Mittelpunct aller meiner Wunsche bleiben. Lebe wohl, Du schone herrliche Stadt, die mich so gastfreundlich aufnahml Empfange meinen w&rmsten Segenl Bluhe linger als alle Stadte der Welt zusammen genommen1"'2> The visit to Italy, lasting from October, 1844, until November of the folio wing_year, was in no way as satisfactory (1) T. II. 2805. (2) T. II. 3241. as Hebbel had anticipated. His funds were rapidly shrinking and his mode of living was, of necessity, meagrely restricted, nor did Rome interest him as had Paris, due perhaps to the fact that his classical background was not broad enough. A friendly welcome was accorded him, however, for the fame of his early works had already been carried to Italy, but, al-though the period was rich in new acquaintanceships, it offered him little else. After having visited Sicily and Naples, therefore, and having climbed Vesuvius, he continued his travels back to Germanic soil and with his residence in Vienna a new chapter in his experience is opened, a chapter which reaches its conclusion only with his death. The loneliness of his first weeks in Vienna had already persuaded Hebbel that he would remain there but a short time and intact he was on the point of departure, when conditions suddenly changed for the better. Wilhelm and Julius Zerboni di Sposetti, two young noblemen, interested themselves in his work with the result that they included the young poet in their household and gave him all the advantages of their wealth and culture. As a consequence he soon came to regard Vienna as his home and there followed ere long another circumstance whieh bound him still more to the Austrian capital - this was his introduction to the actress, Christine Enghaus. The meeting was the result of the direct wish of the actress who felt a desire to play Judith and Klara in Hebbel's already popular tragedies, but the interest felt soon extend-ed beyond the plays themselves. The acquaintanceship soon developed into intimacy, then love, and, under a heading in enormous script, May £6, in the diary of 1846, there appears the following entry, "Ieh Din angekleidet urn zu Mittag in die Kirche zu fahren und mich mit Christine Enghaus aus Braunschweig zu verheirathen."* ' Marriage has always been the thing of which Hebbel was most afraid and that which he has felt he must most carefully avoid. "Die Ehe giebt dem Einzelnen Begranzung"*2' he had cried out and it was this "Begranzung" that he saw as the destruction of his talents as an author. Repeatedly he stresses this idea and rebels against the restrictions of marriage, - always, of course, with the thought of marriage with Elise in mind. With his growing love for Christine, however, such scruples were thrown to the winds - with his marriage to her, all is changed. Here the relationship is one founded on the most sincere and complete love, a love based on admiration, respect and mutual sympathy, not as in the ease of his regard for Elise where gratitude had played a prominent part, a gratitude which with time had become irksome. "Darum Sundigt ein Weib, das Liebe giebt, ohne Liebe zu empfangen; die Strafe trifft sie nicht allein,"*3' these are Hebbel's rather harsh words of ©ensure for Elise's attitude while he adds quickly, with keen satisfaction, "wie ganz anders ist es jetzt." Whatever our personal opinion may be regarding the propriety of this marriage, it must, at least, be frankly admitted that this step alone is responsible for the remark-able literary activity of Hebbel1s later years, an activity (1) f. III. 3565. (£) T. I. 1478. (3) T. III. 3873. which would hare been impossible in the restr ic ted environment and attendant poverty of l i f e with E l i s e . Prom now on Hebbel i s sp ir i tua l ly content. In Christine he had found one admirably suited to h i s own temperament and one furthermore capable, in the f u l l e s t degree, of understanding him and bear-ing with him in his periods of i r r i t a b i l i t y and moodiness. In te l l ec tua l ly she was h is equal and, as such, her interest in his work was a continual inspiration and incentive to greater e f for t . I t i s pleasant to find, however, that with th i s new happiness the old friend was not wholly forgotten and in May, 1847, a f ter the death of her son Ernst and after Hebbel too had experienced sorrow in the death of Christ ine's infant •on, we find El ise staying as their guest in Vienna. The invi tat ion had apparently originated from Christ ine's sym-pathetic nature and a few l i n e s in the diary give an attract ive picture of her kindness to her husband's friend. "Was war das Erste das meine Prau sagte a l s s ie die Todes-Botsohaft wegen meines Kindes erfuhr? 'Bass s ie - die Mutter - zu uns Icommen, l a s s s ie gleioh kommenl' Uhd aufs Todlichste war s ie von der gekrankt und be l e id lg t . Lebt nooh eine Zweite auf Erden die so spraehe und gle ioh e ln Zimmar e inrlohtete , Betten besorgte, u.s .w. Ioh zweif le ." She v i s i t , a happy and mutually friendly one, lasted for a year, after which El ise returned, s p i r i t u a l l y more contented, to her old home in Hamburg where she died in November, 1854. Vienna during these years had become more and more (1) T. I I I . 4170. kindly disposed toward Hebbel and his work. He was now the adored hero of a certain group of younger poets while, al-though such leaders as Grillparzer and Friedrich Halm were antagonistic, his position was too definitely fixed to fear their attacks. In the meantime, also, his reputation had been further strengthened by literary production for in 1848 Herodes and Mari*"*™* and the two lesser works Per Rubin and Michelangelo were completed. In 1851 appeared the tragedy Agnes Bernauer which won unanimous approval at its initial presentation in Munich, and in November, 1854, there followed Gyges und Sein Ring. low, at last, Hebbel after years of disappointment and privation had reached his goal. His literary reputation was firmly established, his friends many and sincere, his private life supremely happy, and when in May, 1861, he witnessed the presentation of his last and most ambitious work, the * Hiebelungen trilogy, with his wife in the leading role, he must have felt the Faustian desire to cry to the moment "Terweile doch, du bist so schfin." His literary work was now ended, his body worn out by disease brought on by privations of earlier years and on December 13, 1863, after a severe illness, Friedrich Hebbel died peacefully in surroundings of perfect harmony, attended by his wife, that true friend and companion, who had made possible the serene calm of his later years. II HEBBEL'S CONCEPTION OF TRAGEDY Since Hebbel in his dramatic theories is in many respects extraordinarily modern in attitude, it may be well, before dealing with the plays themselves, to consider in a general way what the author means by the term "tragedy". Like his forerunners in the dramatic field, Hebbel be-lieves that the essence of tragedy is conflict, but Hebbel1s conception of dramatic conflict differs from the traditional view. With Hebbel only a conflict that affects the order of the world is fit stuff for tragedy; no personal struggle in itself can, in his opinion, reach the height of significance that the dignity of the medium demands, and thus suitable themes become very much more difficult to find. Only in a period of change, during a struggle between a new and old order, can be found a conflict of universal significance, and only such a one, he holds, is worthy of dramatic presentation. That is, to Hebbel, the struggle in a tragedy must be symbolical, an outward manifestation of the spirit of the times and of the progress in thought and manners. The conflict is, then, one of evolution and must inevit-ably result in one more step in world progress. The struggle must, however, be identified with the persons of the tragedy and thus in Hebbel we are constantly seeing, in the leading figures, a striking contrast in ideas and manners. Such we have in Judith where the conflict is superficially between Holofemes and the Jewess, hut which, in its deeper signific-ance, is the last determined attack of Paganism against Mono-theism. Such we have, also, in Herodes und Mariamne where the the queen, so infinitely ahead of her age in her revolt against the oppression of individuality, is driven into opposition to her husband, the personification of eastern despotism. Here the clash between world orders is perhaps the greatest possible in history, that between the pre-Christian and the Christian eras. In this struggle between old and new it is evident, however, that the victory can only be a gradual one; the world is never prepared in a minute to accept completely a new philosophy of life, and, therefore, it follows that the opposition will at first be almost strong enough to stifle progress. From this arises the second point which is to be noticed in a tragedy of Hebbel. The heroine, for the ex-ponent of the new idea is usually a woman, is of necessity very much ahead of her period; her theories are those of an era not yet here and certainly, at least, not established. Thus she is a figure standing alone, apart from the age in which she lives and, therefore, antagonistic to its principles. Here lies the root of the tragedy. She, the exponent of a future doctrine, must stand in opposition to her century, an individual against the world, and her struggle, although it may end in temporary failure, is necessary for the progress of mankind. There is, in the tragedies of Hebbel, no suggestion of moral guilt on the part of the heroine; the catastrophe, in every case, arises from quite another element. The heroine may sin, as undoubtedly does Klara, but this is not the cause of her tragic death. It is not because Klara feels that her sin can be atoned for only by death that she chooses this course, but because she is forced out of the world by the narrow, prejudiced morality of her environment. The world in which she lives is not ready to recognize that it is not in the deed itself but in the intention that sin lies, and thus, since it is not able to judge from that standpoint, death is the only solution. Tragie "guilt" then, in the old accepted sense of the word, is, as a working forea, absent from Hebbel's plays, but in its place is substituted guilt of an entirely different nature. Hebbel sees that progress is only possible to society as a whole; no individual can, with impunity, travel too far in advance of his age. Such an exceptional person is necessarily crushed by the inevitable conflict between himself and his environment. That is the "moral guilt" rests in an excessive development of individuality, in the failure to fit into the notch assigned to one. Thus Judith, in her almost masculine boldness, Genoveva, in the perfection of her virtue, Agnes Bernauer, in her extraordinary beauty, rise above their contemporaries and as a result are doomed to a tragic end. Yet it is individualities, persons standing out apart from their age, that make for progress, and thus the tragedy is the more intense since these individuals are obliged to follow a course of action which will result in their own annihilation. The catastrophe i s based on an unshakeable " Inevi tabi l i ty" , the conditions of the age are the rul ing force and i f i t s laws are violated, there must follow Judgment. The t rag ic heroine, in Hebbel's eyes, i s an "Opfer der Zeit", the victim of an unenlightened age. Since i t i s in the characters that the h i s to r ica l struggle finds expression, i t follows that the presentation of r ea l , v i t a l figures i s e s sen t i a l . Hebbel's aim i s always to reveal the psychological depth, to investigate the charac te r ' s inmost thoughts and so discover the cause of h is every speech and deed. I t has been said that so completely had he allowed his mind to become absorbed with his characters, that he could recount in de ta i l the boyish indiscretions of Golo and the events in the girlhood of Genoveva. As a resul t of th i s method, therefore, his tragedies are fu l l of l iv ing people, so highly individualized are they, in faet , that many c r i t i c s have found th i s a fau l t . They base the i r complaint on the fact tha t , to the reader, these characters are always exoep-t ions , they are not typical enough, and thus thei r tragedy has not sufficient contact with ordinary l i f e . There may be some measure of t ruth in this charge, for certainly i t would be very diff icul t indeed to find a Mariamne or a Rhodope among our own c i rc le of acquaintances. Yet, again, how few of our fellows are f i t to become t rag ic characters; the qua l i t i e s needed are seldom a l l found in one person, but does i t make Mariamne the less convincing that she is the embodiment of much that i s best in woman? Surely not. Mariamne i s rea l and v i t a l , but a woman placed by destiny in an age which cannot understand her, with her heart antagonistic to its spirit and her ideal unconsciously approximating that of the Christian era about to dawn. Hebbel's tragedy is a character drama, not for the pur-pose of individual character presentation alone, but for this evolutionary idea which lies behind the action. With artistic judgment he avoids definite expression of this underlying idea, but instead, by s'light suggestions, builds up his sig-nificant background. The struggle between the two forces continues with tragic insistence till the victory of one is at length assured and the ruin of the other. In this ruin we see more than an individual catastrophe, it is the futile gesture of organized society against an idea which it is not ready to accept. Ill EARLIER HEROINES A. Judith To the ordinary reader the source from which Hebbel derived his material for this, his earliest tragedy, would seem uninspiring. In the Apocryphal book Judith, a cold, bare account is given of the death of. one Holofernes, the oppressor of the Jews, at the hands of a Jewish widow, and in this meagre anecdote Hebbel, with the fine discrimination of a born dramatist, saw stuff for one of the most impressive of modern German tragedies. Obviously, as he himself immediately realized, the story as it there stood could not be adopted. The heroine in the Biblical account is a widow, she performs the horrible deed with an almost cold-blooded resolution, and when Holofemes has met his death at her hands, she returns to her people, singing a song of triumph and bearing on her shoulder, the prize, the head of her victim. Hebbel at once saw that in that form the story was crude and repelling, and, moreover, did not eoineide with his idea of woman. Yet, although re-jecting many incongruous elements, he saw in its broad out-lines the framework for a real tragedy, and on its foundation he has built freely with the result that the completed work is a true masterpiece. In the character of Judith herself Hebbel felt it necessary to make important changes, for the Biblical heroine, a hard, unattractive figure, was, in no way, adaptable to the ends of tragedy. Here Judith is no longer a widow in the ordinary sense but, as Hebbel states, a "jungfrauliohe Wittwe", one who has believed for years of her life that a curse rests upon her head, and who only too late realizes, with horror, that her maidenhood has been preserved as a sacrifice for her country. By giving her this equivocal position, he achieves better psychological motivation for a course of action so foreign to his conception of woman? The play opens with good effect, not in the Jewish city, Bethulien, but rather in the camp of the oppressor, Holofernes, where the tragedy proper is later to be played. Curiously enough, Judith, who is later to become the centre of the action, is not once mentioned in the first act and the dramatist's whole powers are concentrated on portraying the dreaded enemy of the Jewish people and, above all, of the Jewish faith. The omission is curious but only so when superficially considered, for surely a moment's consideration will reveal clearly the artistic motive. Holofernes is to become, before long, Judith's most hated enemy, but it is not in this antagonism that the tragedy consists. The real catastrophe arises not from the fact that Judith hates her opponent, but rather from the fact that she does not hate him enough. We see clearly, in the opening scene of the second act,that it is not anger and loathing alone that Judith feels in her rebellion against her country's oppressor, but a con-siderable degree of interest in this man who dares all and before whom nothing can stand. "Ich m8gt' ihn sehenl" she cries eagerly and immediately checks her wish, dimly conscious that the fulfilment might lead to sin, the sin of respecting the enemy of her people. The brilliant presentation of Holof ernes in the opening act is thus exceptionally striking. We, who are to see the heroine of the tragedy attracted to her enemy by an admiration which she cannot suppress, are here witnesses of his cruel strength. Holofernes is, it must be admitted, an Imposing and Impressive figure and, as our own interest is aroused in his character, we become the more sympathetic with the fault which later proves Judith's downfall. With the most vivid strokes the leader is presented before our eyes in all the bright and glaring colours of an eastern despot - a brutal figure certainly and yet how irresistibly impelling I "Mein Wille 1st dlt Sins und Euer Thun die Zwei, nicht umgekehrt"* 'he roars to an unfortunate servant who has presumed to anticipate his wishes, and thus indirectly suggested a knowledge of Holo-fernes' oharaoter. This is exactly what the despot forbids, to) "Mein Heute passt nie zum Gestern"x ' he remarks proudly, and on th i s quality of wi l fu l inconsistency, whether l og i ca l or not, he bases h i s power to ru le . This f i r s t aot , then, i s a c leverly contrived psychologic-a l preparation for the following one, designed not only to set the plot in motion, but to create in the mind of the audience a sympathy for Judith's action in the la ter scenes. Our interest i s held by the enigmatical character before us , and how muoh more sympathetic i s our Judgment on the heroine when we are able to see with her own unwill ingly part ia l eyes . We t l ) W. I . 6. (Z) W. I . 7. feel that Holofernes is utterly ruthless, a man totally incapable of a selfless thought or act, and yet one who stands out almost as a hero amid his vices. "Halt ich doch nur einen Eeind nur Einen, der mir gegenuber zu treten wagtel Ich wollt' ihn kussen, ich wollte, wenn ich ihn nach heissem Kampf in den Staub geworfen hatte, mich auf ihn sturzen und mit ihm sterben."* ' His power has become almost a curse to him and he cries out longingly for an opponent whom he may crush and yet respect. All too soon such an enemy arises, but the tyrant, his wish fulfilled, dies without knowing that he has met his equal. The second act opens with a discussion between Judith and her waiting-maid, Mirza, in which we learn of the strange conduet of Judith's dead husband upon their wedding-night, and the consequent fear of the Jewish girl that her beauty is her curse. "Meine Sch8nheit ist die der Collkirsehe, ihr Genuss bringt Wahnsinn und Todi"^ ' How ironic are these words to us in the audience who know that Holofernes is later to find how bitterly true is this superstitious utterance. The agony felt by Judith in her undefined position between wife and maiden is keenly expressed in the words in which she sums up her theory of woman's sphere: "Ein Weib ist ein Hichts; nur durch den Mann kann sie Etwas werden; das Kind das sie gebiert ist der einzige Dank den sie der Hatur fur ihr Dasein darbringen kann.Unselig sind die Unfruohtbaren, doppelt unselig bin ich, die ich nicht Jungfrau bin und auch nicht Weibl"^8) (1) W. I. 7. (2) W. I. 19. (3) W. I. 19. Her a t t i t u d e i s an e n t i r e l y conventional one, she be-l i e v e s tha t nowhere should the sphere of woman infr inge upon tha t of man and t h a t a wife and mother has f u l f i l l e d , in the f u l l e s t sense , her mission in l i f e when a husband has been obeyed and a ch i ld r e a r e d . L i t t l e does she r e a l i z e t h a t circumstances and her r e l i g i o u s zea l are to demand tha t she overstep these narrow bounds and assume a duty which she fee l s i s only f i t for a man to perform. Real iz ing keenly the danger to her people from the besieging enemy, she sees t h e i r only escape in the death of the oppressor . Holofemes must be k i l l e d , she expla ins to Ephraim, and with a woman's f a i t h in the courage of the man who professes love for her , she de-mands that he perform the deed. Her hope i s , however, doomed to disappointment; Ephraim i s not equal to such heroism and the r e a l i z a t i o n dawns on her suddenly, "Ich habe s ie von M r (Ephraim) gefordet; i ch muss beweisen, dass s ie mBglioh i s t i ^ 1 ) Judi th becomes, with t h i s r e so lve , the opposing force to Holofernes. As yet she has not the s l i g h t e s t conception of the turn which events are t o t a k e , but mental ly, a t l e a s t , she i s prepar ing her enemy's downfall. Three days of f a s t i n g are kept in close communion with her God, the grea t Jehovah, but no suggestion comes to her of the path of a c t i o n . Then, a t l eng th , a f l ash of r e a l i z a t i o n l Her mocking words to Ephraim three days before were i r o n i c a l l y t r u e . "Dann braucht ich je nur zu ihm hinaus zu gehen und Stadt und Land ware g e r e t t e t l " This i s the course tha t her God bids her (1) W. T. 84. pursue. "Der Weg zu meiner That geht durch die Sunde! Vor Dir (Gott) wird das Uhreine rein. Wenn Du zwischen mich und meine That eine Sunde stellst, wer bin ich, dass ich mit Dir daruber hadern, dass ich mich entziehen solltei 1st nicht meine That so viel werth, als sie mich kostet? Darf ich meine Ehre, meinen unbefleekten Leib mehr lieben wie Dich?"*1' In a flash the difficulty is overcome and Judith is pre-pared to sacrifice herself to the cause of her people and her God. But even here while fired by patriotic and religious zeal, the disturbing thought grips her and she cries beseechingly "aber schutze mich, dass ich nichts Gutes von ihm sehel"*2) With her mind thus resolved there is for Judith no turn-ing baek and, in fact, the despairing resignation of the be-sieged Jews strengthens rather than weakens her determination. "Seht Ihr im Ungluek" she remonstrates with her people "nur eine Aufforderung es Eueh durch Gemeinheit zu verdienen,"* ' while in her own mind is only the hope that she may have strength to carry out her deadly purpose. Her thought turns repeatedly to Holofernes and his attitude to women and when Achior, in answer to her question "Er liebt die Weiber?" replies, nJa, aber nicht anders als Essen und Trinken" her heart leaps with joy of strengthened hope and she asks anxiously "Ich bin doch fur ein Opfer sehon genug?"l4) It is with this attitude of mind that Judith dares an entrance into Holofernes1 camp; a fiery, almost fanatical, (1) W. I. 26. (3) W. I. 37. {2) W. I. 27. (4) W. I. 43. re l ig ious seal inspires her with the courage and resolution of a nan, but there i s present, unfortunately, another incentive of whieh the he lp less woman i s t o ta l l y unconscious. This i s the desire of a woman to see th i s superman whose personality has so aroused her curios i ty; oleverly Hebbel has suggested th is mingling of a purely sexual cur ios i ty - though at f i r s t unconscious - with the re l i g ious and patr iot ic motive. With the opening l i n e s of the fourth act the struggle between the two opposing forces begins - a double oonfLlot. Woman dares to r e s i s t man in a duel of the sexes and Judaism challenges an e f fe te Paganism. Judith, at once, impresses Holofernes with her remarkable beauty, "Bur die Blinden sind elendl" he c r i e s . "Furohte Dioh nicht Judith, Du g e f a l l s t mir, wis mlr noch Keine g e f i e l . " ^ ) To these reassuring words the Jewess rep l i e s with lronio ambiguity, "Disss 1st das Zls l a l l e r meiner Wunsohe," hut we, the audience, real iz ing Judith's twofold meaning, wonder whether she herse l f oan, as ye t , suspeot that a third interpretation oould be supplied and that in t h i s l i e s the cause of her ultimate fa i lure . With fascinating charm, she draws her enemy into her net , but her own inevitable doom i s likewise approaching rapidly. She leaves Holofernes' tent in t ears , t ears , she says, of joy for the success o f her f i r s t plan; but we f e e l that there i s mixed with them the woman's p i ty for her viotim, for she cr ies in dread at the step she has taken, "Ioh sohaudere vor der Kraft der Luge in meinem Munde.1"2) Five days elapse, days of terror and anguish for Judith (1) W. I . 50. (2) W. I . 56. su re ly , during which time her f a i t h in her God could he the only refuge aga ins t the dread tormenting he r . Then comes the time appointed fo r her r e tu rn to Holofemes ' camp, the t ime, as he b e l i e v e s , for the surrender of h e r s e l f and her people; but , f o r her , the hour for the performance of a bloody duty. Holofernes awaits her with r e s t l e s s impatience and h i s vaunt-ing words r i n g out as a warning to the courageous Jewess, "In ihrem Herzen wohnt Hiemand a l s i h r Gott und den w i l l ich j e t z t v e r t r e i b e n i " ^ ) With the f ie ry love-making of an eas te rn despot , the t y r an t seeks t o sof ten J u d i t h ' s cold manner, while she, in almost f r an t i c alarm, braces he r se l f to r e s i s t the passion tha t h i s advances promise to awaken. "0 warum bin ich Weibi" she c r i e s to he r se l f i n agony as she r e a l i z e s her involuntary response to h i s embrace, and fee l ing her courage and hate weakening, she g ladly accepts h i s offer of wine, "Ja im Wein i s t Hut, Mutl1^2) The temptation i s almost I r r e s i s t i b l e and Judi th , doubting her own power, t u r n s in her danger to her God. "Gott meiner Vfiter" she c r i e s , "schutze mich vor mir s e l b s t , dass i ch n icht verehren muss, was i ch verabscheuel Er i s t e in (3) Mann."* She.sees now tha t Holofernes i s int ruding between her and her r e l i g i o u s f a i t h and when a t length she has made he r se l f a s ac r i f i ce as she had intended, i t i s with h e s i t a t i o n tha t she approaches her f i n a l deed, the murder. "Ich muss," she persuades herse l f , " ich w i l l - pfui uber mich in Zei t und Ewigkeit, wenn ich n ich t kannl"^4) In t h i s l a s t ho r r ib l e moment she does not f a i l , but i t i s not as the too l of God (1) W. I . 59. (2) W. I . 6 1 . (3) W.I .63. (4) W.I.66. t ha t she performs her t a sk , hut as the wronged woman avenging her own in ju ry . Nei ther pa t r io t i sm nor r e l i g i o u s obedience i s the immediate incent ive to her hideous a c t , and i t i s with the cry of an indignant human tha t she r a i s e s the sword, "Bin ioh denn e in Wurm, dass er mien z e r t r e t e n und a l s ob Hiehts gesohehen ware ruhig e inschlafen dar f?"^ 1 ) Jehovah and C h r i s t i a n i t y are now v ic to r ious and the Jewish people f reed from the bonds of tyranny, yet in the hea r t of Judi th the woman, there i s the consciousness of com-p l e t e f a i l u r e . "Hichts t r i e b mich, a l s der Gedanke an mich se lbs t " v ' she c r i e s despa i r ing ly , and the glad shouts of a l i b e r a t e d people only increase her anguish. Sadly she r e -a l i z e s t h a t her way to v i c to ry was not by t he path her God would have des i r ed ; her deed had not been performed i n the r i g h t s p i r i t and had ceased t o be a s a c r i f i c e . She, a woman having gone beyond the bounds designed fo r her sex, had f a l l e n a vict im t o i n s t i n c t s which she l i t t l e understood. She thought of the poss ib le consequence of bearing a son to Holofernes presses heavi ly upon her and, with hor ro r , she c r i e s for death. Yet although Holofernes was powerful enough to make her forget fo r a moment her r e l i g i o u s f a i t h , i t was only for a moment and now i t i s to t h i s t h a t she tu rns fo r hope. To Jehovah she prays for the aver t ing of the awful consequence and the p lay c loses with her words of renewed hope, "Vie l l e ich t 1st e r mir gnadigi"*3) (1) W. I . 70. (8) W. I . 72. (3) W. I . 8 1 . B. Genoveva. Genoveva, probably more than any other play of Hebbel, may be regarded as a r e v e l a t i o n of the a u t h o r ' s own fee l ings and emotions during a c e r t a i n period of h i s l i f e , and, although i t i s always a mistake to f ix one ' s a t t e n t i o n too c lose ly upon the autobiographica l element in a g rea t work, to the poss ib le exclus ion of other q u a l i t i e s , yet i t i s i n t e r e s t -ing to inquire in pa r t a t l e a s t in to the circumstances which may have influenced his choice of subject and h i s manner of t rea tment . The work da t e s back to the month of h i s second residence i n Hamburg, ka a l i t e r a r y man h i s pos i t i on i s f a i r l y w e l l -founded and the p rospec t s , al though perhaps not b r i l l i a n t , are, a t l e a s t , not depress ing . S p i r i t u a l l y , however, t h i s i s a per iod of g rea t doubt and unce r t a in ty ; h is bond with E l i s e has, with t ime, become the more firmly welded, whi le , a s an aggrava-t i o n to a mind al ready tormented with regard to h i s t reatment of t h i s woman whom he does not wish to make h i s wife, comes a new element in to h i s l i f e , h i s i n fa tua t ion for a beau t i fu l g i r l Emma Sohroder. Hebbel was, of course, sane enough to recognize t ha t the s i t u a t i o n was an impossible one and tha t t h i s new love must be immediately s t i f l e d . The s t ruggle was, however, none the l e s s acu te , and from the whirlpool of h i s s p i r i t u a l agony and doubt, from h i s passion for Emma, and h is respec t and p i t y for the much-wronged E l i s e , emerges h i s Genoveva, a remarkably v iv id p resen ta t ion of the power of passion and the steadfastness of a woman's love. I t i s s ignif icant t ha t , rtiile in the character of Golo, Hebbel has presented his own fa i l ings and the emotions he fe l t in his love for Emma, i t i s not Emma but Elise whom he has pictured in Genoveva, the object of Golo's passion. Her beauty of soul, her se l f -sacr i f ice and above a l l her stead-fastness, are the qua l i t i es which Hebbel has long seen and admired in El i se , and thus, although the play was composed during a period when his affections were transferred to another woman, i t i s pleasant to see that i t i s not the qual i-t i e s of Emma that he regards as heroic but those of the woman he neglects . The character of Genoveva i s not so complex as that of Judith and the l a t e r heroines. As a woman she i s probably the least interest ing of Hebbel*s characters, a condition which ar ises not from a less successful portrayal but from the fact tha t , throughout the piece, she plays an almost completely passive par t . The direct ing of the course of events l i e s not in her hands, as i t had done in the case of Judith, but in those of Golo, and as a natural consequence i t i s in Golo that our chief in teres t i s centred and not in the wronged countess. Despite this fac t , however, Genoveva i s an exceedingly beautiful character and although in our more modern eyes, her extreme submissivenesa might invite cr i t ic ism, we are obliged, even there, to admit that her unresisting acceptance of in-justice is founded on a v i r tue , not a fault, on courage not on fear. Tery beautifully Hebbel reveals to us, even in the f i r s t scene, the depth of her love and her implicit fa i th that that love i s returned. In Siegfried she plaoes her whole affection, rejoicing in the faot that i t i s so and yet modestly reluctant to reveal the true extent of her love in order to surprise him in an hour of sorrow. "Ioh aber fuhle mioh Jetzt so arm, so arm," she cr ies when at h is insistence she has expressed her feeling for him, "Als ein Geheimnis kaum mir selbst bekannt, (lurch's Leben tragen wollte ich me in Herz. Erst in der dunklen Stunde, wo me in Grab sich auftut woll t ' ioh ' s Bffnen gegen Dich. '^1) This opening scene i s an affecting one as i t portrays a separation which may perhaps be for ever, but yet , despite her intense sorrow, there i s on the part of Genoveva no hesi ta t ion; she i s a so ld i e r ' s wife and, as such, she has taught herself that courage which i s a warr ior ' s f i r s t duty. "Ein Weib verhiillt den Schmerz derm er i s t hasslich und be fie ok t die Welt." Suoh i s her theory and although she l i t t l e dreams that th i s principle i s l a t e r to be so severely t r i ed , she feels a stout courage, equal to whatever misfortune the future may offer. Golo, alone, the figure in the background, has an in-sight into the true nature of the s i tua t ion . He alone sus-pects that Siegfried i s not capable, a t l eas t as yet , of appreciating the beauty of his wife 's personality and i t i s he who has been able to see and admire to the fu l l the perfect selflessness of Genoveva's love. His heart rebels when he sees Siegfried f a i l to re turn that depth of love which he so eagerly receives. "Sie i s t ein Weib wie keinsl"* ' c r ies Golo in wonder and admiration, yet a hideous fear r i ses within (1) W. I . 95. (8) W. I . 98. him, fear l e s t h i s wonder should a f t e r a l l reveal i t s e l f as love . Al l too soon t h i s dread becomes a c e r t a i n t y for no sooner i s Siegfr ied gone than the s i gh t of Genoveva's h i t t e r g r i e f and the indignant remembrance tha t Siegfr ied par ted from her without t e a r s , dr ives him i n to an excessive demonstration of h i s p i t y . With fever i sh concern he k i s s e s the unconscious Genoveva and thereby takes the f i r s t s tep which i s t o lead to so much tha t i s ugly and c r u e l . With t h i s one a c t , innocent in i n t en t i on sure ly , he has for a second l o s t h i s s e l f - c o n t r o l and i t i s never again recovered. From t h i s moment he i s doomed t o wrest le with a passion he i s powerless to master, a passion, f i r s t love , then h a t e , bu t i n e i t h e r shape t e r r i b l e , b r u t a l . The manner in which Hebbel has handled the r i s i n g storm in Golo's soul i s master ly t o the l a s t degree. Step by step we follow the progress of t he conf l i c t and a t every point we can sympathize and p i t y . Here i s no inna te ly wicked man but one too sore ly tempted, and when a t length he f a l l s , a f t e r repeated e f f o r t s t o r ega in h is former s e l f - r e s t r a i n t , we f e e l tha t he i s , a f t e r a l l , human and tha t few in h i s place could have conquered. Genoveva, in her innocence, i s completely ignorant of the cause of Golo's strange uneas iness . "Sunde -kann s ie sioh n ich t denken"^ ' are Golo's words of her ; her mind i s too pure , too fore ign to e v i l thought, to suspect for one minute tha t Golo i s tormented by a g u i l t y love, and l e a s t of a l l , a love for her who i s he r se l f incapable of (1) W. I . 120. anything but the s t r i c t e s t f ide l i ty to her husband. Thus, in her dedication of Golo's sword to the cause of puri ty, there i s a b i t t e r irony which only her guardian can appreciate. "Ein Schauder fasst mich" he mutters with dread, n I s t es nicht Gott se lbs t , der also zu mir spricht dureh ihren Mund?"* ' With dreadful impetus the t ide of tragedy sweeps ahead pushing aside any res i s t ing forces but i t s e l f not diverted an inch from i t s destined course. Horribly the rea l iza t ion "breaks upon Genoveva that Golo is fa i th less and, furthermore, that he would have her so a lso . The thought is dreadful, repel l ing, yet even in the face of such danger Genoveva has the courage to stand reso lu te . With t ragic insistence Golo, knowing that in death l i e s the only solution, demands her permission thus to end the confl ic t , but Genoveva, although conscious that a sign from her wil l end for a l l time th i s hideous struggle, i s not for a second in hes i ta t ion as to her eourse. Suicide i s not the Christian solution to temptation and therefore there is in such an escape no victory. Thus, without a tremor of doubt or fear, she decrees boldly, "Bleibt ihm die Wahl noch zwisohen Sunde und Tod So ist er edel und wird nimmermehr Vollbringen was er schaudernd selbst verdammt."'2^ With these words Genoveva boldly re jec ts security, but Golo, although s t i r red by her puri ty, i s so completely subject to his passion that nothing short of a miracle could restore h is former self-control . Such a miracle, unfortunately, does not take place but (1) W.- I . 121. (2) W. I . 155. instead the insidious suggestions of the witch, Margareta, aggravate rather than relieve the situation. Golo, spurred on by a fear for his safety, becomes almost mad because of his baffled intention and his one thought is now to bring upon Genoveva at least the suspicion of dishonour. With malicious cunning he achieves this, Genoveva is made to appear false to her marriage vow, but even now the success is only superficial. Genoveva, surprised into the consequences of a malevolent trick, is complete mistress of herself. The consciousness of her own innocence is her strongest weapon of defence and, without any attempt to justify herself, she says quietly to her accusers, "Fuhrt mich wohin es sei, nur fuhrt mich hin Wo ich dies Blut nicht seh'l'^1) From this point Genoveva becomes the object of Golo's eruel spite. He has failed in his primary purpose and in revenge for this failure he doubles his efforts to make Genoveva repent her fidelity. Her condition in prison is made as rough and comfortless as possible, her food scanty and coarse, yet even now nothing ean alter her resolution. With despair Golo realizes that his attempts are futile, that Genoveva is above his power to harm and that the only thing that could break her would be suspicion and doubt from the husband for whom she suffers. "Es giebt nur Einen Mann Der mir vertrauen muss, den Einen nur Liess ich hinab in meine seele schau'nl"'2' (1) W. I. 186. (2) W. I. 191. these are Genoveva'e words to Golo while in prison, only to Siegfried does she f e e l that she owes an explanation, and her implicit fa i th in her husband persuades her that he certainly can never doubt her f i d e l i t y . But her fa i th i s not j u s t i f i e d . Upon the unexpected re-turn of Siegfried, Golo cra f t i l y poisons h is mind against her and the struggle of Othello i s repeated; again i t i s Iago who i s v ic tor ious . In a frenzy of jealousy Siegfried gives Golo h i s sword with the words, "Todten s o l l s t Du sle Und widerruf' ioh den Befehl mich s e l b s t l " ' 1 ) and Genoveva and the Infant born to her in prison are oarried off to death. But her martyrdom i s not yet complete for in the l a s t minute Golo, with a f inal gleam of hope, offers a way of esoape through f l i gh t with him. Sven in the faoe of death, however, Genoveva*e f i d e l i t y i s unshakeable and she aocepts her cruel ly unjust fate in a sp ir i t of forgiveness. But so appealing did she seem to Hebbel in her patient re-signation that he was forced to re lent in the matter of her death. "0 Genoveval" he writes in his diary, "Du maohst mir v ia l Kummerl Lieben darf ioh dich nioht und vernichten darf ioh dich auoh nioht1" The compromise i s not an ent ire ly happy one but, since Siegfr ied's jealousy was aroused by the venom of a slanderous tongue, a reconci l iat ion seems s t i l l poss ible . So, after years of suffering, Genoveva i s allowed once again t o enjoy a husband's love , a husband whom time and grief have molded into a character more worthy of her saor i f i ce . /"» \ W T 9»A C. Klara. Hebbel's third great drama is entitled Maria Magdalene, ein burgerlich.es Trauerspiel. From this we are given an indication of the type of play we are to expect hut not until we have read it can we realize how fully the classification is justified. Maria Magdalene is probably the greatest play of its class of the nineteenth century and it holds a worthy place with the two greatest of the preceding century, Emilia Galotti and Kabale und Liebe. These two are tragedies of the middle class but it is a middle class exploited and sinned against by a corrupt aristocracy. Maria Magdalene is "burgerlioh" not only in the sense that it deals with persons of the middle class as had done its predecessors; it is much more than that - it is the tragedy of the middle class itself, the tragedy of its principles, its petty and dogmatic con-ventionality and, above all, of its pitiless observance of externally imposed laws of morality. Hebbel did not choose his subject solely to satisfy an artistic impulse. He also wished to present a criticism of a soGial condition which he regarded as ruinous both to society as a whole and - even more so - to the individuals over which it tyrannizes. This conventionality «f middle class "Respectability" is, in Hebbel's eyes, an obstacle to ethical progress; it demands a continual halt, a turning for precedent to the principles of our fathers, and consequently any individual attempt to follow self-imposed rules is looked upon as sinful. Although the basic principle of this society is morality, it is a morality of a pitifully limited nature. There is no idea in the minds of these bigoted citizens that the root of moral uprightness lies not in dogma but in con-science, rather they regard that man alone as righteous who observes strictly the acoepted moral precepts, although his obedience may arise, as generally happens, from fear, not conviction, from the dread lest this monster "Sittlichkeit" crush him if he disregard its supremacy. Such is the world in which Klara has been reared and in Master Anton, her father, all the principles of this narrow-minded community are fully embodied. To him morality means an observance of the letter, not of the spirit of the law and the hard, unsympathetic quality of his nature is the logical result of such a creed. His chief object is to maintain through life the respect of his fellowmen for his upright character and to die at last with his reputation unspotted, and so, with a clear conscience, to be able to stand before his Judge. To him religion has little concern with charity or love - it is a primitive thing - simply the avoidance of an open violation of the Ten Commandments. This is the morality which Klara's father has, by pre-cept and example, taught his family. He himself, by years of discipline, has schooled himself into a dogged conformity with its teachings and has neither sympathy nor understanding for any breach on the part of another, least of all on the part of his own family. Karl, his somewhat wild and reckless son, he dislikes, almost hates, because he does not sufficiently respect these standards, and in the conviction of his own moral stability, the tyrannical father cannot realize that it is his own hard unbending righteousness that has awakened this spirit of rebellion in his son. In Klara, however, Anton believes he sees the product of his own theory. She is a loving and dutiful daughter and has, he is sure, laid for herself the foundations of a righteous, law-abiding life. Hever has his daughter rebelled against the code of her environment and as a contrast to Karl, the pro-digal, she offers him a feeling of satisfaction, a conscious-ness of his own virtue. To Klara, however, the oppression of her family surroundings has been as trying as to her brother. This life where everything is done according to rule, where, as Karl states "wir haben im Hause zweimal zehn Gebote"; ' has been a weight upon her spirit, and although she little realizes it, she is ready to revolt against its warping pressure. Klara is intensely human, a girl Just as other girls and, in some ways, more genuinely upright than most. A loving daughter, her relationship with her mother is very close indeed and although she, in all probability, cannot, in a true sense, love her father, yet she is wholly considerate of his comfort and ready always to do his bidding. She, too, is apparently the only one who is capable of understanding the rough Karl, whom her mother pampers and her father abuses, for throughout the play, and especially toward the end, there is the suggestion of a bond of sympathy between them. (1) W. IE. 62. Klara's sin i s not, e i ther in her own eyes, or apparently in Hebbel's, a very heinous one. She has yielded to the importunity of her lover, to prove to him that she means to keep fa i th with him - for well he knows that her love i s given to another. Then, with the supposed theft of Karl, comes the loss of her dowry as well as the disgrace upon the family and the cad Leonhard deserts her for a more advantageous a l l i ance , caring nothing for the fact that he is leaving her to face disgrace and shame. But her f i r s t thought i s not for herself but for her father. His honour wil l be spotted, his l i f e ruined and his daughter the cause. She knows that the one thing to crush her father is the scorn of the world, the finger of censure. Karl ' s trouble has shown her the effect that disgrace has upon him. Master Anton believes without hesi ta t ion in his son's gui l t although Klara vigorously de-fends him, and with character is t ic egotism his f i r s t thought i s now, not the establishment of his son's innocence, but the prevention of another such shame. An ugly thought enters .his mind and, turning to Klara, he bids her swear that she wi l l never bring disgrace upon him. With the rea l iza t ion of one alternative, which wi l l at least spare her father the d i s -grace of her action, with the resolution to seek death i f necessary, she swears "Ioh sohwore Dir dass ioh Sir nie Sohande machen W i l l i " ' 1 ' Klara is no ordinary Magdalene; the fear that oppresses her ar ises not from the consciousness of s in, but from the real izat ion of i t s consequences. S t i l l more intense becomes (1) W. I I . 36. her dread when Master Anton, harassed by the scorn shown by some of h i s fel low c i t i z e n s , swears to k i l l himself i f he erer find his daughter in disgrace. "Ich kann's in einer f e l t nicht aushalten, wo die Leute mit le idig sein mussten, wenn s ie nicht vor mir ausspucken so l len ."* 1 ) The announcement of Karl's innocence, coming at such a moment, i s almost crushing. Her lore t e l l s her she should rejoice and yet she cannot. "Hun b i s t Du's allein"^ ' i s her one thought and almost in a frenzy she seeks a means to prevent her own misfortune. It must be averted before too la te and yet the means must be honourable; thus, when her former admirer, Friedrich, the man she r e a l l y loves , returns a l l unsuspecting and eager to marry her, she reveals the truth, though by so doing she cuts off this fey of escape. Her sole hope now l i e s in Leonhard, the man who has spurned her, and she resolves at once to f l y to him and throw herse l f at his f e e t . "Ja Vater, ioh gehei ich gehe," she cr i e s , "Deine Tochter wird Dich nicht zum Selbstmord trelben" and then the thought of an eas ier way occurs to her, but with courage she s t i f l e s i t s tempting suggestion, "Drei Srunnen t r l f f s t Du an dem Weg zu ihm - Dass Du mir an Keinem stehen b le ibs t , noch hast Du nicht das Recht dazul , f ' 3 ' Before Leonhard she makes the greatest sacri f ice a woman can make; in desperation she begs him to marry her, to make her, in the eyes of the world, an honorable woman and in return she w i l l be his s lave, a dog upon which to vent his sp i te , anything, everything that he may des i re . (1) W.II.40. (2) W.II.46. (3) W.II.53. Her humi l ia t ion has , however, been for nothing, Leonhard i s incapable of an unse l f i sh ac t ion and K l a r a ' s doom i s s e t t l e d . "Mein Tater weiss von Hieh t s , e r ahnt n i c h t s und damit er n ie Etwas e r f a h r t , geh' ich noeh heute aus der Wel t . "* 1 ' This she now sees as the only so lu t ion . "Was ich j e t z t thu ' das kommt iiber mich a l l e i n , " she argues and t h i s , although a s i n , i s not so g rea t a one as t o be the cause of death to another . Hes i t a t ing ly the words of the Lord 's Prayer come to her l i p s and with the words "0 Gott, ich komme nur weil sonst mein Tater kame"^ ' she goes to her dea th . Master Anton i s l e f t alone with h i s shame, unenlighten-ed, narrow as before , muttering i n puzzled bewilderment, "Ich (4) verstehe die Welt n ieh t mehr.™ ' K l a r a ' s l i f e was fo r f e i t ed as a s a c r i f i c e to the moral i ty of middle c l a s s soc ie ty . She never seems oppressed with the thought t h a t her s i n as a woman was not a t one able but i t was her s in as a daughter tha t only death could cover up. I f her faul t were discovered, her fa ther would be made an object of scorn and a s t a i n l e s s r epu t a t i on would be b lo t t ed forever . Thus a s t e r n necess i ty drove her t o her death, a necess i ty a r i s i n g , however, so le ly from the conventional mora l i ty of her environment. (1) W. I I . 59 . (2) W. I I . 59. (3) W. I I . 67. (4) W. I I . 71 . D. Summary With Maria Magdalene the e a r l y period of Hebbel 's authorship i s brought to a close and before turn ing to the works of the l a t e r per iod, i t may be wel l to sum up b r i e f l y what we have found to be Hebbel 's t heo r i e s in regard to woman in these e a r l y years and the r e l a t i o n of these t h e o r i e s to the characters c r ea t ed . Woman i s , as ye t , in Hebbel 's eyes the subordinate and e n t i r e l y passive sex whose supreme function in l i f e i s to love and min i s te r to man. This a t t i t u d e i s a very n a t u r a l one, a r i s i n g d i r e c t l y from h i s own exper ience . Beginning with h i s mother, whose a t t i t u d e towards him had always been one of unquestioning devotion, a l l the women who had entered in t imate ly in to h i s l i f e had fos te red t h i s idea . E l i s e , Beppi and perhaps even Emma, had been e a s i l y a t t r a c t e d to him, and both E l i se and Beppi had become almost s laves to h i s wishes. This in i t s e l f , although showing woman's power of s e l f - s a c r i f i c e , succeeded in emphasizing, in Hebbel 's mind, h i s b e l i e f in the supe r io r i t y of man, and consequently w© are not a t a l l surpr i sed to find in Judi th , Genoveva and Maria Magdalene, t h a t woman i s looked upon as a c rea ture to whom love and submission a re a l l - i m p o r t a n t . E l i s e i s c l ea r l y the predominant influence in these e a r l y works for even where a temporary i n s p i r a t i o n may have some e f fec t upon the work, as in the case of Genoveva, i t i s always E l i s e ' s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of love and s e l f - s a c r i f i c e tha t are i dea l i zed . This we see most c l e a r l y when we compare Judi th and Genoveva. The Jewess, although p o l i t i c a l l y v i c t o r i o u s , i s , through her overstepping of the bounds of her sex, brought to a s p i r i t u a l defea t . Genoveva, the submissive, on the other hand, by keeping s t r i c t l y within the l i m i t s of woman's sphere, by remaining s t ead fas t to her love agains t a l l obs t ac le s , i s a t length r e s t o r e d to happiness. Here we have Hebbel 's e a r ly idea l of woman; to such he ights of pe r fec t ion woman may a t t a i n within her own l imi ted f i e l d while in the e a r l i e r heroine we are given a warning of the d i sa s t rous r e s u l t s following woman's encroachment upon man's sphere of ac t ion . Hebbel, then, in t h i s e a r l y period has depicted women as he had known them, and since he had found boundless love and submission t o be t h e i r chief q u a l i t i e s in ac tua l l i f e , so too are they made th© c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of h i s ea r ly he ro ines . In Maria Magdalene Hebbel has gone even f a r t h e r ; not only has he given to t h e heroine the q u a l i t i e s of E l i se and Beppi, but he has tafcen the circumstances a l so from h i s ac tual experience, while l i v i n g with the c a r p e n t e r ' s family in Munich. Although the s i t u a t i o n i s t ha t of Beppi, however i t i s ch ief ly E l i se whom we see in the charac ter of the hero ine . E l i s e , too , had been subject to censure in Hamburg because of her r e l a t i o n s with the dramatis t and, as a r e s u l t , the unsympathetic t r e a t -ment of soc ie ty in regard t o such matters of moral i ty was keenly f e l t by Hebbel. Here, although in the quest ion of woman's place in l i f e there isv no development, we see a change in viewpoint which i s u l t ima te ly to lead to a new conception of woman. He has come to look upon woman's re la t ion to society in a different l i g h t . In Judith he had maintained that woman in assert ing her r ights was a rebel against society; now, however, he i s looking at conditions from the point of view of the heroine and sees that society, too, can sin against the individual. This is a d i s t inc t development and with the opening of the second period we see s t i l l another and final step - in the rea l iza t ion that woman i s primarily a human being with the r ight to demand recognition and respect for her individual i ty . IV IATER HEROIKES A. Mariamne Herodes und Mariamne may be regarded as the f i r s t tragedy of Hebbel 's matur i ty . The period of youth and ex-periment with i t s a t tending exuberance and excess , i s now de-f i n i t e l y over and the new period opens with the p rec i s ion and power of mastery. Her, for the f i r s t t ime, do we see the height to which Hebbel 's genius can a t t a i n , a height which i s to be sus ta ined t o the conclusion of h i s l i t e r a r y a c t i v i t y . In i t s balance and moderation of treatment and s u b t l e t y of cha rac t e r i z a t i on , the play far excels anything seen in the e a r l i e r works. Probably nothing i s more de f in i t e evidence of the mature mind behind the work than i s the marked change in the por t ray-a l of the charac ter of woman. Mariamne i s the new heroine , the idea l of the older man with h i s more sympathetic and apprec ia t ive est imate of her sex and in her , for the f i r s t t ime, we see a woman who challenges our f u l l e s t admirat ion. The change has been wrought by Hebbel 's wife , Chr i s t ine , whose in sp i r ing comradeship had shown him the true worth of woman as years of E l i s e ' s s a c r i f i c e had f a i l e d t o do. I t i s not surpr i s ing tha t t h i s heroine should r e f l e c t in so many respec ts the s p i r i t u a l beauty of the woman he most admires. Mariamne i s ne i t he r a Judi th nor a Genoveva. Here i t i s not the woman who e r r s in assuming the duty of man, nor the pa t ien t sufferer accepting with r e s igna t ion a l l the i n ju s t i c e tha t man may heap upon her . The new heroine i s qu i te another woman; she i s a queen, the daughter of a l i n e of heroes . Yet her pr ide i s not based upon b i r t h a l o n e , - r a the r upon the i n t r i n s i c worth of her own soul . Her love , l ike tha t of Genoveva, i s u t t e r l y s e l f l e s s , capable of complete s a c r i f i c e , yet unl ike her predecessor , she i s prompted by another qua l i t y , s e l f - r e s p e c t . From the man who loves her she demands much more than passion; of the essence of love are to her honour and esteem. Without these s p i r i t u a l q u a l i t i e s , so -ca l led love i s r a t h e r a degradat ion than an honour - e spec ia l ly i f accompanied by the mad jealousy which insp i red Herod's conduct. Herod's jealousy i s founded, of course , in the nature of h is love and the per fec t ion of Maria-nine's beauty. (So lovely i s she t h a t he fears Anthony would, a t the s igh t of her , forget Cleopatral) But with fine psychological ef fec t Hebbel has shown us t h i s jealousy fanned to a mad f i r e by Herod's con-sciousness of having gr ievously wronged h i s wife by the murder of her b ro ther , Ar i s tobo lus . The inev i tab le effect of t h i s sense of g u i l t i s t ha t he becomes suspicious of her love and good f a i t h , - although we l ea rn from Mariamne tha t i t was not the murder i t s e l f so much a s Herod's hypocr i t i ca l a t t i t u d e which a l i ena ted he r . The death of Aris tobolus has not r e a l l y shaken her love for Herod whom she recognizes as the promoter of the deed. She i s w i l l i ng , in her hea r t , to recognize the cruel a c t as p o l i t i c a l l y necessary, al though her l i p s dare not frame the words of acquiescence. The play opens at what may he regarded as the crisis of this spiritual conflict. Several months have elapsed since the drowning of Aristobolus during which period Herod has vainly tried to persuade himself that his relations to his wife are unchanged. Yet the past stands between them, the guilt in his mind forms an invisible barrier, a barrier which he himself is unconsciously erecting. Thus his mind is prepared to doubt and, when he is summoned to appear before the capricious Anthony, jealous love for his wife and the fear that her love has been altered prompt him to ensure her fidelity by placing her under the sword. The act is a cruel one, the deed of a tyrant not of a devoted husband, and to one of Mariamne's nobility of soul, unbearable. She feels herself lovered to the level of a valuable possession which must be Isept safe against the robber. Herod, too, is vaguely conscious of the injustice of his act and mentally seeks to persuade himself that his motives are honorable. "Das wird mich spornen Zu thun, was ich -noch nie gethan, zu dulden Was ich noch nie geduldet und mich trBsten Wenn es umsonst gesehleht."^ ' It is significant, however, that these words of self-justifica-tion close with the motive which we feel to be the sincere one. The danger threatening Mariamne may add an impetus to his endeavors, but he goes, we know, believing his safe return unlikely. Thus the deed has been prompted fundamentally by (1) W. II. 232. distrust; he is blinded to the fidelity of Mariamne who would follow her husband so unquestioningly to death. Woman is re-garded now as a soulless possession to be fought over and carried off by the victor. Already we have seen enough of Mariamne to know just how deeply such a blow at her honour would wound. In the splendid scene between Herod and his wife before his departure,-there is given a vivid insight into Mariamne's principles of life. To her that love is nothing which cannot trust nor does love, in her opinion, consist in a continual protestation of one's fidelity and readiness to make a sacrifice, but rather in the courage to make, if necessary, the sacrifice demanded. Love itself neither hesitates nor doubts the love of another for, eonseious of its own faithfulness, it cannot fear the infideli-ty of whieh it itself is incapable. "Man stellt auf Thaten keinen Sehuldsehein aus ITiel weniger auf Schmerzen und Opfer Wie die Verzweiflung zwar, ieh fuhl's sie bringen IDoeh nie die Liebe sie verlangen kannl"'^) These are her words in response to Herod's appeal that she swear to kill herself should she hear of her husband's death. The kindling fear in Herod's mind has, for the moment, smothered his better nature and he asks for something now which Mariamne feels he has no right to demand. The appeal, furthermore, is an illogical one, she argues, for what gives value to an oath save the personality of the one who swears it? (1) W. II. 230. BTJnd leistete ieh den, was burgte Dir Dass ich ihn hielte? Immer nur ich selbst Mein Wesen, wie Du's kennst. D'rum denke ich Du fangst, da Du mit Hoffnung und Vertrau'n Doch enden musst, sogleich mit beiden anln* ' By asking for this oath Herod has, she believes, cheapen-ed her fidelity. He has, if unintentionally, sought to make it a thing to be bound by the external claims of obligation rather than by the internal law of love, and thus it becomes a duty rather than a privilege. Herod, in his eagerness for an assurance of her affection, has mistrusted the sacrifice which her love will willingly offer and in so doing has injured her personality. Thus she refuses to comply with his wish thereby strengthening Herod's suspicion and providing an instigation for the deed which is later to wound her so cruelly. When, at length, therefore, Marianne learns of Herod's order to Joseph, we feel no surprise at her reaction. The strange conduct of her guardian has for some time oppressed her with an uncertain fear, yet her love and faith have prevented it from taking actual shape. Now, however, the suspicion is verified, Herod after all has not dared to leave her in a world where an Anthony still lives and, to assure his own comfort, has disregarded her personality and taken the expression of her fidelity out of her own hands. The realiza-tion of his doubt is horrible and still more the consciousness of the injury to her nature. "Von jetzt erst fangt mein Leben an, bis heute traumt1 ichl"^2) With horror she sees her (1) W. II. 221. (2) W. II. 266. present position as the real one, the past of apparent re-spect and trust an illusion, and she cries out in agony: "Ich war ihm nur ein Ding und we iter Hichts." '•*•) The return of the king finds Mariamne stunned while Herod, full of good spirits at his unexpected safety, fondly hopes to resume the old happy relations. An understanding is, however, impossible and little .by little the realization breaks upon Herod that Mariamne knows of his deed of distrust and is un-willing to forgive "Nimmer loseht' ich's in ihr ausl"^ ' He understands his wife's nature well enough to know that sueh an act can never be justified and yet, forcing itself upon this feeling of remorse, comes another suspicion "Am welchen Pre is erfuhrst Du dies Geheimniss? Wohlfeil war es nichtl Mir stand ein Kopf zum Pfandl"^ The disintegration of his character has begun; suspicion has been given a hearing and its voice now cannot be stifled. The second eall from Anthony gives a momentary flash of hope for a reconciliation, but it is all too soon extinguished. "Er zieht noch einmal fort I Dank, Ewiger Danki"^4) cries Mariamne in the-ecstasy of renewed hope and in her heart is the prayer that now Herod will reveal the nobility of his nature and thereby prove that the former act was the impulse of a thoughtless moment. " Je t z t werd' i c h ' s sehen, ob 's b loss e in Fieber war, Das Fieber der gereizten Leidenschaft Das ihn verwirrte oder ob sich mir (1) W.II.S67. (2) W.11.278. . (3) W.II.279. (4) W.II.287. In klarer That sein Innerstes verrieth. Jetzt werd1 ieh's sehenl"^1) Herod is now, however, completely mastered by his sus-picion and Mariamne's rejoicing cry is read as an indication of her infidelity. "Mag ich auch an Deiner Menschheit Gefrevelt haben, das erkenne ich klar An Deiner Liebe frevelte ich nichtl"(2) The moment of a possible understanding has passed with the dawn of a new doubt in Herod's mind. "Das Rad der Zeit" has been turned back in vain and the repetition of the former brutal act comes as a deathblow to reconciliation and atone-ment. Mariamne has now been insulted and degraded beyond the limits of reparation. She has been treated for a second time as a senseless possession and for a second time also her fidelity has been questioned. How there lies nothing before her but revenge and death. Herod has proven himself twice in relation to her and once again in his treatment of Soemus, a tyrant, a feelingless oppressor, and there cannot be a revival of former happiness. "Du stehst zu ihm wie ich" she says to Soemus, "Du bist wie ich in Deinem Heiligsten Gekrankt, wie ich zum Ding herabgesetztl Er ist ein Freund wie er ein Gatte ist Komm auf.mein Fest!"(3) The feast is to be her great revenge. Herod has doubted (1) W.11.288. (2) W.11.289. (3) W.11.308. her love and now she will give him cause. True, he is reported dead but she does not believe the report. Her self-respect must still be reestablished and now he shall see her rejoice as he had expected. She will dance madly, rapturously but, al-though the feast must appear a thanksgiving, it will be the dance not of joy but of death. So it is effected and Kariamne, dancing in wild frenzy, performs to perfection the part of the faithless wife rejoicing at her release. The return of Herod in no degree changes her attitude and with satisfaction she realizes that her revenge is within reach. Seeing before him the justification of all his suspicions, Herod summons Mariamne before a tribunal on the charge of infidelity, nDu habest Deinen Konig und Gemahl betrogen"^1^ is the accusation made at the trial, but Mariamne, refusing to de-fend herself in any way, replies only, "Betrogen? Wie? UnmSgliehi Hat er mich nicht gefunden wie er mich Zu finden dachte? Nicht bei Tanz und Spiel?"v ' The evidence of her aotions supports Herod's opinion and Mariamne is sentenced to death. Now her complete revenge is at hand and to Titus, the Roman, she entrusts its fulfillment. He alone learns from her lips the truth and he is chosen as the agent through whom Herod shall learn of his injustice. Having thus revealed the purity of her soul, she can meet the death which fate demands. "Kann ich noch leben? Kann ich mit Dem noch leben, der in mir (1) W.II.341. (2) W.II.341 Hicht einmal Gottes Ebenbild mehr ehrt?"t1) Death is inevitable but now she can meet it willingly as a release from an impossible world. She was born too soon. But though she, as an individual, perishes, the principle for which she has stood is triumphant. Through the heralds of the new-born babe in Bethlehem we learn of the dawn of the new era. (1) W.II.353. B. Agnes Be matter In his next great play, Agnes Bernauer. Hebbel depicts another beautiful and attractive heroine, hut this time his sympathies are obviously more with the man who was forced to become her bitterest foe. In some respects Agnes Bernauer can be compared with Maria Magdalena. In both plays the problem arises from the conflict between the individual and organized society. In the case of Maria Magdalena this problem is a purely social one, it is the indictment of a society whose false standards force an erring girl like Klara out of the world. Agnes Bernauer on the other hand presents a political conflict - that between the individual and the state. The heroine by her .excessive beauty becomes an obstacle to the existence of the state and as a consequence she must fall as a sacrifice to political security. Just as Genoveva stood apart from her age in her virtue, Judith in her courage, so Agnes, in her excessive beauty, is abnormal; she does not fit into the groove which society has allotted to her and thus she must be swept aside. Her beauty becomes, though innocently, the cause of a breach between father and son, of a rising between farmers and townspeople and eventually of oivil war. Thus she is dangerous to the general welfare and, as a consequence, her own single happiness must be offered for the security of the masses. Agnes herself is completely innocent, everyone is willing to admit that. Even Herzog Ernst, who as a prudent statesman feels her death to be a political necessity, signs her death warrant with a feeling of genuine sorrow and his words express his emotion as well as his motive for the cruel act, "Es ist ein Ungluct fur sie und Ice in Gluek fur mich, aber im Namen der Wittwen und Waisen, die der Krieg machen wurde, im Xiamen der Stadte, die er (ATorecht) in Asche legte, der EBrfer, die er zerstBrte: Agnes Bernauer fahr' hinl"'3-' With these words he gives his signature and Agnes dies in order that the horrible consequences of war might be averted. It is a mark of Hebbel's great genius that he has been able to mate us feel sympathy for both parties of the struggle. Our emotions are undoubtedly engaged,on the side of the lovers; we feel that it is cruel to the extreme to disturb their happiness, yet our impartial judgment compels us to recognize the justice of the dufce's cause. Hebbel puts the case for either side vividly before us; we see, on the one hand, the height of happiness open to the individual when personal wishes are followed, while, on the other, lie political con-fusion, rebellion, war. It is with this that Albrecht and his wife are to buy personal happiness, but the price is too great. The sacrifice of many to the good of a mere two is contrary to all human law and instead of individual pleasure being pur-chased with political chaos, political order is bought at the cost of personal happiness, at the cost of a woman's life. With rare delicacy Hebbel has created in Agnes Bernauer one of his most lovely heroines. In her innocence and devotion she invites comparison with Genoveva, but is much more vital and appealing. Genoveva, to be sure, played always a passive (1) W.III.B04. r8le; the author purposely kept her, for the most part, in-active, yet, although this is true also in a great measure of Agnes, though she, too, is the object not the agent of the action, yet she is much more convincing than the suffering Genoveva. The opening act presents the "Engel von Augsburg" in her customary surroundings. She is poor and of humble birth, yet she stands out from her bellows in almost startling contrast. They, too, are conscious of the difference, some feeling a genuine admiration for her charm and regarding her almost as an angel, while others, especially the young girls of her own age, look upon her with jealousy, grudging her the attention she receives and hating her for her remarkable beauty. The scene between Agnes and Barbara in the first act pictures very vividly the relationship between the surgeon's daughter and the other girls of the town. Here we see all the jealousy that one woman can feel for the beauty of another, the spite amounting almost to haifce, while in marked contrast is the calm simplicity of Agnes, her sorrow at being the cause of ill-feeling and her ignorance of the true reason. She knows she is beautiful, no doubt, it would have been impossible for her to have escaped that knowledge, yet she cannot realize to what an extent. This is no mere temporary charm of youth; it is some-thing very much deeper, more far-reaching in its influence. This is the beauty that is later to plunge the state into civil war and which, in atonement, is to fall as a sacrifice to peace. The immediate infatuation of Albrecht for Agnes is the natural consequence of their meeting. The mere sight of her inflames him with a desire to win her for his wife and soon all thought of his duty to the state vanishes. He knows, of course, that a woman of her humble birth would never be allowed to asoend the throne, that his own succession might even be barred, yet there is not a moment's hesitation. He is now the individual asserting his own rights and he will re-cognize no other law but his own will. Agnes, however, is not easily swept away by the flatter-ing thought of a man's homage, even when that man is infinite-ly her superior in rank. She loves Albreeht sincerely, has indeed from her first sight of him, yet she is sane enough to see that this love is a menace to his good. "Ich frage Dich, ob Du mieh lieben kannst" so Albreeht had eagerly questioned upon their first meeting, but Agnes, restraining, no doubt, her feeling as an individual, had reminded him of his position. "Das fragt eine Furstentochter, doeh nicht mich'.''1' She sees the relationship as a dangerous one, that such a match would be unconventional and hazardous. With dread she recalls the malicious words of the jealous Barbara. "Wer rief mir doch heute morgen zu, geh' in's Kloster?" she cries with a realization of the only alternative open to her, "Mir daucht, ich sehe jetzt einen Finger, der mich hinein weistl"^) If Albreeht's love is to be renounced, if she must force him to leave her with his heart free and his mission to his country as his sole inspiration, then for her there is no longer a life to live. The primary urge of her existence has been sacrific-ed and her future would be nothing but a weary waiting for the (1) W.111,156. (2) W.III.157. releasing hand of death. This is the conflict in Agnes' mind and she grasps the difficulty in all its seriousness. On the one hand is infinite personal happiness as the wife of the man she loves, on the other is the sacrifice of her own desire to the good of the state. Yet, after all, she is a human being; she, too, has a life to live and happiness to win or lose as fate may decree. Thus, with a complete consciousness of the step she takes, she follows the course of instinct, crying in warning to her father, "Kein Wort von Gefahri Erinnert mich nicht, dass Muth dazu gehortl"* ' and then adding with courage in the face of foreboding evil "und musst' ich's mit dem Tode bezahlen - das th£te ITichtsl" 2his is Agnes' only sin. She has follovsed the path of individual desire rather than that of political wisdom and thus she embraces her own ruin. By this step, the happiness of two individuals is assured but on the other hand lies the misery of many, The normal course of things has been diverted into an unnatural channel and it must be turned back even if it cost the sweeping aside of the barriers which have altered its direction. Agnes and Abrecht find happiness, but not security, yet there is no sense of regret on their part for the stand which they have taken- Agnes is now completely happy and although in the moment of her new found joy she is still conscious of the inequality of the marriage and, with humility, waves Albrecht's gifts away with the words "Mcht dochl was bliebe noch fur eine Prinzessinl"^ ' Yet the complete satisfaction (1) W.III.172. (2) W.III.186. of the s i t u a t i o n counterbalances any qualms she might feel for the fu tu re . In the bade of her mind, however, there lurks s t i l l one uneasy thought . "Es 1st n ioht Furcht, was mioh bewegtl" she assures her husband,fear has been d i spe l l ed or a t l e a s t conquered, ye t the re i s something e l se - "es thut mir weh, wenn ioh mir denke, dass ganz Augsburg mioh fur etwaa Anderes, a l s fur Deine Gemahlin h a l t . " I 1 ' I t i s a regre t t h a t the sec re t of her r e a l pos i t i on must be kept , but even in t h i s she has courage t o face the world i f i t means the p o s s i b i l i t y of t h e i r continued happiness . "Booh ioh w i l l es g e m mein ganzes Leben lang e r t ragen , wenn's nur zwisohen Dir und Deinen Vater Priede b l e i b t . n ^ 2 b h e has been bold in acoepting t h i s love and she i s resolved to be bold in en-during i t s consequences. These consequences a r e , unfor tuna te ly , not long in pre -sent ing themselves. Already the s t a t e has seen the menace and i s resolved to crush the d i s tu rb ing inf luence . The suc-cession i s in danger, the people r e s t l e s s and r e b e l l i o u s , the country on the verge of c i v i l war and the cause of a l l t h i s l i e s in nothing more than the beauty of a woman. "Sie t rug keinen Sohleier und sohn i t t s ich die Haare n ich t a b i " I 2 ) This i s Agnes' s sole crime in the eyes of the statesman Pfeif ing and for t h i s she i s to be condemned. "Es 1st doch auch en t -s e t z l i c h dass s ie s terben s o i l b loss well sie schon und s i t t -sam warl"(3) n e argues to Eerzog Erns t , who nods in agreement. Yet there i s no a l t e r n a t i v e . In the death of the inva l id Adolph, who had become successor in Alb rech t ' s s tead, the duke (1) W.III .193. (2) W.III .£00. (3) W.III .202. sees the hand of God and believes the only way to draw Albreoht back to his duty is by the death of Agnes. "Das Sacrament istmir heilig"'1' Ernst stoutly maintains and he rejects the suggestions of the retirement of the wife to a cloister. Albreoht can only be made free by death and thus it is with this assurance that his father signs the warrant decreeing her doom. Agnes, however, is, we feel, prepared even for this drastic measure. Her modesty had persuaded her from the out-set that a girl of her station could not make, in the eyes of the world, a fit wife for a reigning duke. She has entered this difficult position fully conscious of the dangers in-herent to it, glorying in the happiness it has brought to both herself and her husband yet grimly aware that this joy cannot last. So sure has She been that her life will not long be granted her that she has even had her own vault built, the sight of which offers her comfort rather than dread. "Es ist mir eine Freude, dass ieh die Statte, wo ieh meinen lfingsten Schlaf halten soil, jetzt schon kenne, ja dass ieh sie c (2) betreten und dort im voraus fur mich beten kann." The opinion of the world as regards her act of marrying Albreoht has been from the beginning inimical, she knows that and it is significant that she can sympathize with the public view. When she hears the announcement of Adolph's death, the third bereavement in the royal house during the last half year, a wave of realization sweeps over her. "So bin ieh wieder Schuld?" she cries in grief at the sorrow she is causing, "0 (1) W. III.203. (2) W.III.207. freilichl freiliohi wer sonst wohl'."^1' The sudden seizure of Agnes during the temporary absence of her husband comes, therefore, as a shock to the victim but not wholly as a surprise. So conscious is she of the state's attitude to her that she needs no explanation for this bold deed but reads in it the doom which she has long foreseen. With infinite self-control and silent courage she gives herself up to her enemies without a struggle, yet, remembering even now that she is a duke's wife, she warns them of the con-sequences of their daring. "Ich folge Euch" she says quietly "aber vergesst nicht es ist Herzog Albrechts Gemahlin die Ihr in seinem eigenen Schloss uberf&llt,"v2) Her imprisonment, instead of showing her in the power of her goalers, proves her to be, in the fullest sense, free. Here the noble traits of her character are thrown into high relief against the temptation she must meet. Death lies before her - death or an impossible alternative,- the renunciation of her husband. "Ich mich von ihm trennen" she cries in horror at the mere suggestion, "eher von mir selbst."* ' The thought of buying safety for herself by such a means is to her abhorrent. She who has bound herself to him in the face of danger, to fail in her pledge now that death is the payment 1 The idea is degrading and, waving Pfeifing back with indigna-tion, she gives herself up to death. "Fragt inn, wenn ich dahin bin" she cries in her last triumph, "ob er lieber eine Unwurdige verfluchen als eine Todte beweinen mSgtel Ich kenne seine Antwortl He in, nein, Ihr bringt Euer Opfer nicht (1) W.III.209. (2) W.III.215. (3) W.III.217. so weit, dass es sich selbst befleckt. Rein war mein erster Haueh, rein soil auoh mein letzter seinl Thut mir wie Ihr musst und durft, ich will's leidenl Bald weiss ich, ob's mit Recht geschahl"*1' The sacrifioe has been made and, in due course, peace is once more restored. By the death of Agnes, the course of events flows back once again into its natural channel, the world order is again established and the law of the whole is supreme over the law of the individual. All that now remains to be accomplished is the conversion of Albrecht to the broader viewpoint, to the realization that the state, too, has a claim upon him and, at that, the larger claim. Gradually this also is achieved. "Ich wiisste nicht," he says sadly, but with awakening understanding "dass der Tod darauf steht eine Perle aufzuheben, statt sie zu zertreten, aber ich hab's gethan und will's bussen."^2^ With these words his new life begins, a life in which every faculty is dedicated to his country and, in a thankful consciousness of the success of his great battle, Herzog Ernst can now offer his homage to the beauty he was forced to destroy. "Was ich ihr im Leben ver-sagen musste, kann ich ihr im Tode gewEhren und ich thu' es gern denn ich weiss, dass sie's verdient."*3' Such is his tribute to Agnes' loveliness and innocence, while Albrecht, with a vision of his new place in life, swears with resolution "Ich will - ich will was ich noch kanuJ"*4' Though, in one way, as has been said, the play Agnes Bernauer may be regarded as a parallel to Maria Magdalene, in (1) W.III.222. (2) W.III.232. (3) W.III.234. (4)W.III.234. other ways the charac te r of Agnes may more e a s i l y be com-pared with t h a t of Genoveva. Here again i s very obvious Hebbel 's ohanged views on woman. The idea l of the co lo r l e s s , submissive vict im has yielded to a l i ve warm-blooded g i r l , who, while j u s t as v i r tuous and innocent, yet f igh ts for her happiness . When she l o s e s , she accepts her fa te with proud d igni ty - every inch a queen. C, Rhodope Emil Kuh, Hebbel 's biographer, in commenting upon Gyges und Bein Ring, remarks, "Hebbel verdient un dieses Gedicht ' s wi l len von den Frauen a l s der Frauenlob unserer Tage gekrSnt zu werden." The words are a sincere apprec ia t ion of the work which, s tanding beside Herodes und Marianme, may be regarded as the highwater mark of Hebbel 's dramatic achievement, and sure ly the pra i se i s not extreme. Rhodope hersel f i s one of the d r a m a t i s t ' s l o v e l i e s t monuments to woman and in her prob-lem we find one of the most sympathetic presenta t ions ever given to the ind iv idua l r i g h t s of woman. Rhodope may be regarded as the champion of her sex, yet her s t ruggle i s not for emancipation in our modern sense; nothing could be more foreign to her r e t i r i n g nature than a des i re to infr inge upon the sphere of man. The only th ing she demands i s the recogni t ion of her personal r i g h t s , the r i g h t s of woman in the sphere assigned to her as pecu l i a r l y her own. The same note had, of course , been struok e f f ec t ive ly some y e a r ' s before in Herodes und Mariamne but not with qui te so fine a touch. To Herodotus Hebbel owes the broad framework of h i s p lo t but , a s in former cases , he has t r e a t e d his source with the g rea t e s t possible freedom. The coarse real ism of the o r ig ina l has here been re l i eved by a softening v e i l of u n r e a l i t y and the ac t ion now takes place in a dim, almost mythical , region. Yet even with the add i t ion of many fanci ful elements, the play never recedes i n t o a shadowy obscur i ty ; never do we fee l t ha t t h i s i s the tragedy only of f i c t i t i o u s cha rac t e r s . The magic r i n g has given us admission to t h i s myst ical country and i t s tragedy for the hour becomes our own. The play i s , in many r e s p e c t s , a counterpart to Herodes und Mariamne and perhaps i t was even the d r a m a t i s t ' s i n t en t ion tha t i t should be so regarded. Each i s a t ragedy of woman's r i g h t s and in eaoh the ca tas t rophe a r i s e s from man's disregard of these r i g h t s . Herod, the man of -uncontrolled passion, places h i s wife under the sword l e s t , a t h i s death, she should marry another ; KandatQ.es, the man obeying always the impulse of the moment, with the pr ide of possess ion, allows his friend a s ight of h i s wife unvei led . Both have wounded woman's soul ; Mariamne f ee l s t h a t she has been regarded as a " th ing" , a possession to pass from one hand to another, one without the s t rength or the love to prevent such a disgrace by a voluntary death . Rhodope's modesty has been v io la t ed ; she has been ex-h ib i t ed as a cos t l y jewel, as one devoid of the w i l l or the r i gh t to object to such t reatment . Yet woman, too , has her own code of l i f e ; she, t oo , i s a persona l i ty with fee l ings t o be considered and r i g h t s t o be observed and when the laws of her sphere are broken, i t i s for her to demand atonement. This i s the incent ive to the ac t ion of both Mariamne and Rhodope. They have both been regarded as c h a t t e l s ; the most sacred r i g h t s of t h e i r innermost beings have been v io la ted and in each case the wrong i s i n t e n s i f i e d by the fac t t h a t i t i s perpe t ra ted by the one person from whom each has a r igh t to expect understanding and cons idera t ion . Rhodope herself, rather elusive and ethereal perhaps, is the embodiment of "die Idee der Sitte," the typical mystical and dreamy princess of India, living a life of contented re-tirement from the world with the beauty of her face veiled from the sight of all men but that one who, by marriage, has won the right to enjoy it. The veil to her is the symbol of her purity, the barrier which divides the sphere of woman from that of man; behind her protecting veil she is secluded from the grosser world of man, within this calm and serene domain of woman. From the very early lines of the play there is a marked emphasis upon the modesty of Rhodope; Kandaules himself is keenly conscious of this virtue in his wife. Being himself a man of another race, a Libyan, and, moreover, a man of advanced views, the extreme to which Rhodope pushes her retire-ment he sees as almost unnecessary. He admires her beyond measure, her beauty and charm of manner are perfection in his eyes, yet an uncertain discontent oppresses him. He alone knows of this priceless possession, "Keiner ahnt wie reich ioh bin"I1) he complains to his friend Gyges, and without the knowledge that another envies him his good fortune, he cannot be completely happy. "Blast auch der frische Wind an alien Orten Die Sohleier weg; Du haltest den Deinen fest."' ' Such are his words to Rhodope, words mixed with admiration and reproach. He feels but little respect for convention or traditions of any kind and utterly fails to realize what the veil means to her. He is proud of her fidelity to him, yet (1) W.III.267. (2) W.III.261, deep down In his heart he f e e l s a resentment that he alone should know of the worth of the great treasure he possesses. With this element of discontent ever present in his lore, i t needs only a s l i ght incentive to persuade Kandaues to grat i fy his des ire . A man of impulse, accustomed always to sa t i s fy the whim of the moment, he sees in the magio ring of Gyges a means of proving to another the value of the jewel he keeps hidden. "Ion bin erst glucklioh" he confesses to his friend, "wenn Dein Mund mir sagt, ioh s e i ' s . " ^ ' The proposal I s , however, to Gyges, the Grecian, repel lent . With the prin-c ip le s of a more highly cultured c i v i l i z a t i o n behind him, he sees the consequences to a woman of Rhodope's sensit ive f ibre. "0 nimmermehr" he remonstrates, "Pur den Mann war's eine Schmaoh Dooh fur e ln Weib, und fur ein Weib, wie sie Das se lbst bei Tag - "I2) His objections are, however, out short. Kandaules ans-wers with the decision of f i n a l i t y , "Sie kann's Ja nie erfahren."' 3 ' The ring i s the medium by which the deed may be rendered possible and, since Rhodope wi l l not know, there can be no harm done. In the s e l f i s h impulse of the moment he i s blind to the fact that the wrong i s even more intense when covered by a cloak of secrecy and i t i s th i s that Gyges, in the moment of temptation i s to rea l ize so acutely . Mow, with his fears s t i l l e d , i f not d i spe l led , he agrees to the deed but he cannot, in the height of his temptation, carry i t through in a l l i t s gross Injust ice . He r e a l i z e s , at last , the enormity (1) W.III.267. (2) W.III.267. (3) 1 . III .267 . of the act and by a turn of the ring makes himself, for a moment, visible to Rhodope's eyes. "Denn frevelhaft ersohien das Wagnis mir"*1' he explains to the indignant Kandaules and when the latter remonstrates, "Ich hatte es M r erlaubt" (2) he answers in a thought which s t r i k e s the very root of the t ragedy, "Wohll Doch mir war in jener schwulen Stunde Als h i t t ' s t Du n ich t das Recht dazu gehabt . ' '^ 3) The t r a g i c consequences are immediately apparent . "Du b i s t e in And ' rer , Gyges, a l s Du warst"^ ' says Kandaules in puzzled concern a t h i s f r i e n d ' s uneasiness , and then, with dawning r e a l i z a t i o n , "Du l i e b s t Rhodopenl '^Herr, ich kann. Dir b loss n ich t langer dienen"* ' r e p l i e s Gyges sadly . This i s the f i r s t ancl the l e a s t of the t r a g i c r e s u l t s ; the s ight of Rhodope's beauty has awakened love in Gyges' hear t and h i s con-t inued exis tence here i s impossible . "Uiemals durfen wir uns wieder s e h ' n " ^ ' decrees Kandaules as they pa r t , while each i s f i l l e d with remorse for the ac t which i s to br ing such dread-ful r e s u l t s . The sacr i lege has, however, been committed and no ea r th ly power can now ave r t i t s f a t a l consequences. Rhodope, although as yet ignorant of the par t which her husband has played in the deed, and, in f a c t , s t i l l unconscious tha t Gyges was the offending person, f e e l s yet the shame which her modesty has suffered. A strange eye has seen her unveiled and thus her womanhood has been outraged. "Ich bin bef leckt wie niemals (1} W.III .272. (4) W.III .286. (2) W.III .272. (5) W.111*288. (3) W.III .272. (6) W.III .289. noch ein Weib."*1) A curse rests upon her now whose taint cannot be washed off and she cries in distress to her gods, "Ruht derm ein Fluch auf mir Ein Fluch von Anbeginn, der Eure Kraft Im Styx gebunden halt, dass Ihr den Frevel Den Keiner gegen meine letzte Sclave Kur zu versuchen wagte, an mir selbst Gelingen liesst, als war's die frflmmste That?"^ ' With joy almost she receives her husband believing that he, feeling with her the monstrous blot upon her soul, comes to purify her by her death. It is, however, not as the avenger but as the accused that he stands before her, while Rhodope, in her complete trust of him, never for a moment suspects his position. "Ich habe Dich gekrankt" he cries remorsefully, "es soil nicht mehr geschehen,"v ; but Rhodope replies sadly "Zu spat I zu spat." The harm has been done and Kandaules' protection and love cannot now restore her to her former purity. Then, at length, eomes a moment when the tragic course might be stayed. Rhodope, recalling the outrage of the pre-vious night, bases her proof of its reality upon the loss of the diamond which Gyges had slipped from her neck. This Kandaules produces and, in a burst of thanksgiving, Rhodope sees all her fears dispelled. It was all, then, an illusion as her husband would have her believe and she had doubted with-out cause. "0 Tag des G-lucks" she cries in ecstasy and then adds in words so weighted with unconscious irony, (1) W.III.288. (2) W.III.289. (3) W.III.292. "Ioh sorgte isomer Es sal mehr s to l z auf den Besltz a l s Liebe In der Empfindung, die Dich an mioh f e s s e l t Und Deine Neigung brauche sohon den Neid Der Anderen, um nicht vfil l ig zu erltiachen Hun furcht1 ioh das nioht mehr."*1' How l i t t l e she rea l i zes the b i t t e r truth of these words whioh bear down on Kandaules with a l l their dreadful s ignif icanoe. "Stolz auf den Bes l tz ," th i s exactly was the incentive to his aot and with horror he rea l izes his weakness. "Und niemals s o l l s t Du'8 wieder f&rchten"(2) ha adds with contrit ion, seek-ing to reassure his wi fe . Yet tragedies are not so averted and the moment i s passed before i t oan be grasped. Rhodope's fa i th in her husband has been strengthened but events are not destined to rest there. Kandaules, des ir ing to comfort his wife whom he fee l s he has of la te neglected, speaks the very words which reawaken her fears . "Mein Gunstllng Gyges gent I"I3) A s t i l l worse sus -picion rushes to her mind "Kein Anderer i s t 's a l s Gygesl"l4) and then comes the real izat ion of Kandaules1 fau l t , "Und dieser Gatte, dieser KiJnlg zuokt Nioht Sohwert, noch Dolch er las s t den Frevler f l l eh 'n ." (6) She has then been doubly wronged, f i r s t by the wanton Gygea and secondly by the husband who would not avenge her shame. Now i t i s time for her to ac t ; she herself must be the means of her own purif ication; she, the woman, must bring Gyges baok and oompel her husband to avenge her wrong. MV W TTT.P.Q*. tZ\ W . T T T . 2 9 7 . IZ\ W . T T T . 2 9 8 . (4.1 W . I I I . 3 0 1 . "Sana spreoh' ich *u Kandaules: hier bin ieh, Dort dsr Gunstling, wthle, dieser Doloh 1st fur mioh selbst, wenn nicht Deln Schwert fur lhn . " U ) Horr ible as the s i t u a t i o n may now appear to the wronged woman, s t i l l she has not yet received the f u l l foroe of the blow. That she has been s p i r i t u a l l y injured she knows only too we l l , but as yet she l i t t l e suspects her husband's g u i l t . "Je mshr ich sinne um so weniger b e g r e i f ich meinen Gatten"^2) she r e f l e c t s in bewilderment but her thoughts are concerned only with the haunting ques t ion , why d id he not k i l l Gyges? Then, in the midst of her specula t ion , comes another gleam of hope, t e r r i b l e in i t s t r a g i c i n t e n s i t y since i t i s so soon to be ext inguished . One poss ib le explanation s t i l l remains; Kandaules may haye arranged Gyges' death s e c r e t l y so t h a t h i s wife should be spared the shams. "Habt Dank, Ihr Ewigen, auoh das kann seinl"* ' she c r i e s with renewed hope, but a l -most before the words a re out of her mouth, Gyges appears before her unharmed. How only i s Ehodope to l ea rn how deeply she has been wronged and how very much more d l f f i o u l t i s to be the atonement. Kandaules, confronted with the accused Gyges, exposes the t ru th regarding the hor r ib le n igh t , "Ich bin vor Allem Bin Mann der fur den Frevel den e r s e lb s t Beging, n icht einen indern sterben l i i ss t . "**) The secre t of h i s Inact ion i s now revealed and the t r u t h (1) W.III .302. 12) f . I I I . 3 0 7 . (3) W.III .308. (4) f . I I I . 3 1 6 . s t r i k e s Rhodope wi th t e r r i b l e impact. The atonement i s now not so e a s i l y effected- the death of Gyges i s no longer necessary or s u f f i c i e n t , but in h i s place the husband must die and the f r i end must become the husband. This i s , in Rhodope's eyes , the only poss ib le so lu t ion . "Wir durfen Beide n ieht fragen ob ' s tins schwer wird Oder l e i c h t . " ' ' So she reminds Gyges in charging him to k i l l Kandaules and she, for her p a r t , never, fo r a moment, allows he rse l f such a quest ion. This i s the only course and i t must be followed however cruel the torment. Kandaules, t o o , sees the ju s t i ce of the plan; he has sinned through s e l f i s h pr ide and he i s ready t o pay the p r i c e , "Wer f reve l te Muss Busse thun und wer nicht lachelnd opfert Der opfert nicht'."(2) With these words he prepares for the combat with Gyges, pro-mising his opponent that his defence will be whole-hearted and his defeat genuine. "Ich muss ihr zeigen dass ich so viel Schonheit nicht leicht verliere."^ ' But he was destined to lose. By Kandaules' death Rhodope feels herself only partly avenged. The guilty one has met hi3 judgment but still the stranger lives who has seen her face. One more step re-mains to be taken and, without hesitation, she prepares for her last sacrifice. Before the altar of the goddess Hestia Rhodope becomes Gyges' wife, then,'plunging a dagger into her heart, she bids him an immediate farewell, i - i - i (1) W.III.320. (2) W.111,332. (3) W.III.337. "Ich bin entsuhnt Denn Keiner sah mich mehr, als dem es ziemte. Jetzt aber soheide ich mich so von Dirl"^1' It has been charged that the punishment by far outweighs the crime, but such a comment fails to appreciate the character and ideals of Rhodope. If she is inexorable in her demands, it is because her most sacred instincts have been violated, her soul degraded. From her point of view her purity can only be restored by the course of action she pursues. To her, as to Marianne, life itself is nothing in comparison with the loss of spiritual ideals. (!) W.III.344. D. Brunhild and Kriemhild Hebbel1 s l a s t achievement was a dramatization of the medieval German epio , Baa Biobclungenlied, a task whioh was attempted also by other German dramatists with varying de-grees of suooess. Hebbel's Trilogy undoubtedly far excels the work of his r i r a l s , but even hie treatment, with a l l i t s wealth of beauty, oolour ana vigour, lacks, to a certain ex-tent , that v i t a l dramatie nerre we have come to look for in a play of Hebbel. The material i s e s sen t ia l l y epio, the aotion, not the characterization, i s i t s main quality. Although Hebbel has adapted the source to f i t his own particular purposes and great ly deepened the psychological motivation, he has, nevertheless , been hanaioapped by the complexity of the plot . Thus although at a dramatised epio I t i s a masterpiece and, though furthermore in such characters as Hagen, Kriemhild and Gunther's queen Brunhild, he has created intensely r e a l i s t i c persons, there i s lacking that subtlety and fineness of oharaoteriaation whioh i s so marked a quality o f the ear l ier plays . In neither Brunhild, the Talkyrie, nor Kriemhild, then, can we hope to encounter the highly sens i t ive and complex personality of a Marianne or a Rhodope. The painting here i e done with a ooarser brush, in b r i l l i a n t oolours certainly, but without the in tr icate ly del icate d e t a i l of the former portra i t s . Brunhild and Kriemhild are vivid indeed, but they are the heroines of an epic ana in the epic flow of the plot ind iv idua l charac te r s are necessa r i ly somewhat submerged. Yet i t must not he imagined that Hebbel has t r ea ted them indif-f e r e n t l y ; he has , in f a c t , made a marked e f for t to emphasize t h e i r q u a l i t i e s and so motivate t h e i r act ions t ha t they be-come more comprehensible to our modern point of view. In Siegfr ieds Tod the second par t of the t r i l o g y the two heroines are presented side by s ide , for the f i r s t t ime. The oont ras t i s a s t r i k i n g one even to the persons of the cour t . "Es i s t e in Unterschied wie Tag und Hacht"^ 'says Truchs while Wulf, the champion of Brunhild, r e p l i e s s tou t ly "Wer laugnet das? Doch Mancher l i e b t die Hacht." The one i s the l a s t of her kind, the superwoman endued with the s t rength of a man yet a t hear t wholly feminine, while the other i s the g e n t l e , tender woman with an i n f i n i t e capaci ty for love yet with the hidden ru th lessness of a man in seeking a jus t r e -venge. This side of her charac ter i s , however, not even suggested u n t i l a f t e r S i eg f r i ed ' s death, for i t has never be-fore been brought to l i g h t and only when her love has thus been a t t acked , does she show herse l f in a l l her grim resolution* Hebbel has made the most of those l i t t l e inc idents which help to br ing out the l e s s conspicuous q u a l i t i e s of these two hero ines , and these scenes number among them some of the most exquis i te passages in the whole t r i l o g y . The scene of Brun-h i l d ' s a r r i v a l in Worms i s one of these which, i n i t s colorful poet ry , stands out in almost l y r i c a l beauty. Here the super-woman of the past i s brought i n to the world of c i v i l i z a t i o n and, with the pagan love of beauty, her eye, i n attempting t o (1) W.IV.80. accustom i t s e l f to the strangeness of the southern landscape, l i g h t s with r ap tu re upon the new nature before her . The r e d , yellow and green of the flowers de l igh t s her and when Kriem-h i l d plucks a v i o l e t for her , she exclaims with pleasure a t i t s remarkable f ragrance, "0 der i s t sehSnl Und diese kleine Blume haucht ihn aus , Die e inzige die me in Auge n ieh t bemerkte? Der mogt1 i ch einen sussen Namen geben Doch hat s ie wohl schon e inen ." *- ' This l i t t l e i nc iden t , i n s i g n i f i c a n t as far as the main p lo t i s concerned, i s not only remarkably beau t i fu l as an i s o l a t e d passage, but i s important a l so in reveal ing the feminine de l icacy of Brunhi ld ' s charac ter which, her masculine s t rength has caused to be concealed. Now, however, she i s the conquered woman; man has , in some inexpl icable manner, over-come her and thus to man she now fee l s he r se l f bound in duty and submission. Her l a s t r evo l t i s on her wedding n igh t , but when conquered she expresses in her words to Gunther the per -fect obedience which she f ee l s to be her ob l iga t ion , "In Dir und mir Hat Mann und Weib fur a l l e Ewigkeit Den l e t z t e n Kampf urn's Yorrecht ausgekampft Du b i s t der Sieger und ich fordere Kichts Als dass Du Dich nun se lbs t mit a l l den Ehren Wonach ich g e i z t e , sehmucken s o l l s t . " ^ 2 ' Gunther, her husband, now becomes her sole p r ide ; her one de-l l ) W.IT.72. (Z) W.IV.99. sire is to see him all-powerful since she believes it is he who has overcome her. She can graciously acknowledge her de-feat and honour the man who has proven himself her superior. All too soon, however, she realizes her misplaced homage and learns that her instinctive attraction to Siegfried had been justified. At once her feeling for Siegfried is transformed into the most bitter hate and she demands vengeance upon the man who has deceived her. Kriemhild, vexed by the somewhat arrogant remarks of Brunhild in her praise of Gun the r and the consequent deroga-tion of Siegfried, reveals the fact that it was Siegfried not Gunther who had twice conquered the proud princess. The revelation comes from the irritation of a moment and Kriem-hild, at once, sees her mistake, but the harm i-s already done. Brunhild is a woman endowed with all the reserve and delicacy of her sex and just as Rhodope and Mariamne felt themselves spiritually wronged, so too is Brunhild bitterly conscious of the. injustice of this ruse. Twice she has been tricked by unfair methods; she who could be conquered only by the greatest hero, has been robbed of her supremacy and made the subordinate of an inferior man. Thus her self-respect has been destroyed and in anger she eries for atonement. "Das ist noch mehr als Mord und dafur will ich Rache, Rache, Rachel"* ' Her love for Siegfried, the real hero, has been the cause of the growing complications, a love which is represented as being more an instinct than a passion. She, as the last superwoman, has been drawn by an inexplicable attraction to (1) W.IT.113. Siegfr ied , the l a s t of the supermen, and from t h i s a t t r a c t i o n a r i s e s the catastrophe which r e s u l t s in the demolit ion of the old race of g i a n t s . Hagen cha rac te r i zes t h i s love in the following words, "Ein Zauber i s t ' s Durch den s ich ih r Geschlecht e rha l t en wi l l Uhd der die l e t z t e Riesin ohne Lust Wie ohne Wahl, zum l e t z t e n Riesen t r e i b t . " * ' Kriemhild has driven Brunhild to t h i s t h i r s t for revenge qui te u n i n t e n t i o n a l l y , ]?rom the very f i r s t appearance of Brunhild in Worms her a t t i t u d e has been one of kind considera-t i o n and good comradeship. She has welcomed her as a s i s t e r and has accepted with good-will the c r i t i c i s m of the l a t t e r regarding her marriage with Siegfr ied. Yet Kriemhild i s , a f t e r a l l , a woman and the t aun t s of Brunhild a t the expense of her husband become a t length unendurable and in a second of scorn she r e v e a l s the supremacy of her husband. In a moment she i s f i l l e d with regre t} her tender hear t repents the to r tu re she has d e a l t and she begs Brunhild to r e a l i z e the i n s t i g a t i o n which her arrogance has offered. "ion weiss wie schwer ieh s i e gekrankt und werde Mir ' s n ie vergeben «ja, ich m8gte eher Dass i c h ' s e r l i t t e n ha t t e a l s gethan."^ 2 ) Such are her words of r eg re t to Hagen, but i t i s , unfor tunate ly , now too l a t e for any understanding. Kriemhild has unwit t ingly revealed the one th ing which for her husband's safety she should have icept s e c r e t . Ihe catastrophe i s now inev i t ab l e ; Siegfried {XI W.IV.132. (2) W,IV.124. i s doomed and the gentle Kriemhild i s soon to be forced by fa te to become h i s r u t h l e s s avenger. Hebbel, with a remarkable del icacy of treatment, has revealed in a charming manner the love of Kriemhild and Sieg-f r i e d . There i s a l y r i c a l beauty in the conversations between the two and the intense g r i e f which Kriemhild fee ls at h i s death i s r ead i ly understood. Yet now, fo r the f i r s t t ime, do we see tha t side of her charac te r which her former happiness has not brought to l i g h t . With frenzied horror she r e a l i z e s the i n f i d e l i t y of Hagen, the champion of Brunhild and she swears revenge agains t the murderer of her husband. Ute, her mother, grasping the possible i s sues of such a r e so lu t ion , begs her to con t ro l her anger, "Halt e in l Du wirs t Dein ganzes Haus v e r d e r b e n . " ^ ' but Kriemhild, throwing herse l f on the dead body of S iegfr ied , s t e e l s h e r s e l f for her ho r r ib l e t a s k , "Bs mag geseheh'n! Denn h i e r i s t ' s uberzahl t l "* ' From t h i s point Kriemhild1s one object in l i f e i s r e -venge. Brunhild had cr ied for revenge by the death of Sieg-f r i ed and through Hagen had achieved i t , while now Kriemhild in t u r n c r i e s for the avenging of t h a t dea th . Her mind i s no longer concerned with the th ings of the present but longs cont inua l ly fo r t ha t moment when Hagen s h a l l be forced to pay for his t r eache ry . To achieve t h i s revenge she i s wi l l ing to s ac r i f i c e her own comfort and s ecu r i t y and when, a f t e r many years of impatient wait ing, a poss ible means of gaining her ends presen ts i t s e l f in the offer of marriage from A t t i l a , king of the Huns, she grasps i t without h e s i t a t i o n or shame. (1) W.IV.124. (2) W.IV.172. Her acceptance of the proposal i s an ac t of the g r e a t e s t self-s a c r i f i c e . The idea of having another husband a f t e r Siegfried i s most r e p e l l e n t to her , yet she sees here a d i r e c t path to her goa l . "Meine Hand hat einen P r e i s , " t h i s i s the thought behind her apparent f i ck leness and in becoming A t t i l a ' s wife, she sees the f i r s t step toward the fu l f i l lment of her revenge. Several years pass , however, before there appears any immediate hope of accomplishment, then, a t l a s t , a f t e r repeated postponements, Gunther and h i s followers resolve to pay the v i s i t to A t t i l a ' s court which was promised at the time of Kriemhild 's remarr iage . Hagen, the object of her ha te , i s purposely uninvi ted for Kriemhild, knowing the man's courage, f e e l s c e r t a in t h a t h i s pride w i l l prompt him to defy the danger of such a v i s i t . As she had expected, Hagen i s among the v i s i t i n g guests upon t h e i r a r r i v a l and Kriemhild sees now her supreme oppor tuni ty . If her brother cannot be brought to agree to Hagen's punishment, then there i s l e f t but one course of a c t i o n . Hagen alone i s the object of her revenge, but i f her bro thers make a r ing of defence about him, then they too must be s t ruck down i n order t h a t a path may be cleared to her v ic t im. Her repeated at tempts to persuade her brothers t o dese r t Hagen are f u t i l e ; they are bound t o him by the old German "Treue" and nothing can cause them t o break t h i s f a i t h . To Kriemhild t h e i r a t t i t u d e is almost incomprehensible; she, t h e i r s i s t e r , had broken the loya l ty of marriage in accepting the hand of A t t i l a only because she saw in the act a means to a more complete evidence of her f i d e l i t y t o Siegfr ied. "Und mxlsst1 ich hundert Bruder niederhauen tfta mir den Weg zu Deinem Haupt zu bahnen So wurd' i c h ' s thun, damit d ie Welt erfahre Bass ich die Treue nur urn Treue b r a c h . " ^ ' With these b i t t e r words she had openly declared to Hagen her ha t red and since her r e l a t i v e s are staunch in t h e i r l oya l ty to him, she must now car ry out her t h r e a t . With grim resolve she plans the death of her victim and when Hagen, in anger a t the des t ruc t ion of h i s men, cuts off the head of her son, the formerly impar t i a l A t t i l a , too, draws h i s sword. How a t l a s t there i s open s laughter but Kriemhild even yet i s not con ten t . "Kein, E t z e l , Mord urn Mord" she c r i e s to her husband; t he s i n for which she demands revenge was murder and only murder i t s e l f can a tone . She becomes a fury in her r u t h l e s s n e s s , a murderess, taught by Hagen to murder, a t r a i t r e s s taught by Hagen to b e t r a y . "Bin ich Verrather isch und falseh? Sie l e h r t e n mich Wie man den Helden in die Fal le l ock t . (2) Ich bin in allem nur ih r Wiederschein." More and more furious becomes the s laughter u n t i l a t length Gunther and Hagen alone of the Burgundians remain. Yet while her brother l i v e s there i s s t i l l one b a r r i e r between Kriemhild and Hagen and even now her r e so lu t ion does not waver. The head of Gunther i s presented before the eyes of the captive Hagen and in response to her v i c t im ' s defiance, Kriemhild cuts (1) W.IT.282. (2) W.IV.282. off his head. Now, at last, her revenge has been fulfilled; her apparent faithlessness to her former husband has proved itself the most complete fidelity and with her mission accomplished, she falls by the avenging sword of old Hilde-braut, atoning through her death for the cruel relentlessness of her revenge. E. Summary Thus in this, the second and last period of his dramatic activity, He"bbel presents in his four great plays, as central figures, splendid and heroie women who challenge our deepest interest and admiration. The first of these is Mariamne, the ideal portrayed in the early days of his married happiness. In this play we see, for the first time, the new Hebbel and the new heroine. "Den neuen Hebbel danken wir Christine", says Friedriclc Summer and he might have added with even more truth, "und die neue Heldin." The inspiring devotion of Christine, combined with her strength of character, evidenced for example in her firmness in dealing with Hebbel1s selfish whims, had revealed to him possibilities in woman never dreamed of before. He realizes now that perfection does not eonsist in resignation but that submission is often a weakness rather than a strength. So the passive heroine of the early plays changes now into an active one; although her sphere is outwardly not less restricted, she is given the right of human personality -her first fidelity is to the demands of her own soul. From this arise her new self-respect and consequent freedom. Judith had summed up the early attitude of Hebbel toward woman in the words, "Ein Weib ist ein Hichts, nur durch den Mann kann sie etwas werden" while how very different are the opinions expressed in the mouths of the later heroines! Gentle Agnes Bernauer, for example, when deceived into believing that Albrecht has deserted her, breaks out with the words of reproach "Auch mich hat Gott gemachti" She feels that she has been grossly injured and that in thus trifling with her love, Albrecht has regarded her as a soul-less toy to be discarded at will. Mariamne and Ehodope, probably the greatest of Hebbel's women, are driven to a horrible revenge because the most sacred claims of their womanhood have been disregarded. No longer is woman a creature which must endure patiently all injustice as did Genoveva; she is a human soul with the same rights and privileges as man and if these are violated, tragic conse-quences inevitably follow. "Du bist wie ich zum Ding herabgesetzt" cries Mariamne in indignation to Soemus while Rhodope, with her sense of modesty outraged, reproaches Golo with the words, "Er hat gefrevelt am Heiligstem". Love and obedience are no longer the sole motives of woman's life, rather self-respect is given the preeminence. Judith, prompted by an unconscious desire to reestablish her self-esteem, had murdered her enemy Holofernes; in this she had sinned and was ruined. Mariamne, Rhodope and Kriemhilde, however, carry out the revenge they feel to be necessary to a resultant triumph. Death ensues, to be sure, but it is no longer the death of defeat for, supremely "masters of their fates", they voluntarily shape their own final destiny. IV HEBBEL1 S PLACE IE THE LIBERATION OF WOMAN Hebbel, great dramatist as he is, has only in comparatively recent years received the admiration that his remarkable genius demands, and the ultimate cause for this increasing popularity can, with some degree of certainty, be traced to another great modern artist, Henrik Ibsen. This remarkable Scandinavian in the year 1879, when the world was still basking in the serene sun of a social conservatism, stormed this placid content by his revolutionary play, A Doll's House* The doctrine so forcibly presented was pre-sumably a new one, the personal liberty of woman, and so clearly and resolutely did the author cry for a just hearing that the work was immediately looked upon as dangerous to social security. Yet, although denied, for sometime, a public presentation, the play soon found a hearing and Ibsen was proclaimed the champion of woman and her personal liberty. The furore caused by the new voice from the north led naturally to a consideration of the problems which his works themselves presented, and it was not a far step to a realiza-tion that although these problems were treated in an original and essentially modern manner, yet at least some of the germs of the dramatist's thought could be discerned in earlier works. This is, in all probability, one of the reasons for the growing respect in which Hebbel came to be regarded during the later years of the past century, since his social theories i n regard to women are in so many r e spec t s s imi la r to those of h i s successor . Although h is voice was l e s s a r r e s t i n g , h i s medium of expression conservative r a t h e r than revolut ion-ary and h is treatment d e l i c a t e , p o e t i c a l in cont ras t with the energet ic and r e a l i s t i c prose of Ibsen, yet in the l a s t ana lys i s when such a work as Herodes und Mariamne or even Gyges und Sein Ring, i s compared with the convention-sha t t e r ing A D o l l ' s House, i t w i l l be found t h a t the doctr ine of Ibsen there presented i s , in essence, t h a t of h i s p re -decessor.^ ' The modernity of Hebbel on the quest ion of woman's r i g h t s i s remarkable and i t i s even the more su rpr i s ing when we consider the p reva i l ing soc ia l t heo r i e s of h i s day and s t i l l more the l i t t l e support which h i s own t ene t s could find in the preceding ages and t h e i r l i t e r a r y expression. During the e a r l y years of the nineteenth century, and even before, there had been i s o l a t e d movements toward a more l i b e r a l a t t i t u d e toward woman, but the e f f o r t s had been, on the whole, weak and i ne f f ec tua l . In l i t e r a t u r e the quest ion of woman's place had been a frequent subject for d iscuss ion , but though there was an occasional v a r i a t i o n of opinion, the ideas for the most par t were extremely conventional. In the l a t e eighteenth century, in the years immediately following the sensa t ional appearance of Rousseau's La Uouvelle Heloise , the Frenchman's conception of woman and (NOTE) (1) This i s not the place for a discussion of Ibsen ' s indebtedness to Hebbel in the matter of technique. and her sphere was genera l ly accepted in Germany a l s o . Sent imenta l i ty ruled l i t e r a t u r e and the supreme v i r tue which woman could possess became "Empfindsamkeit". Thus the woman who embodied both an appealing he lp lessness and a charmingly p a t h e t i c ignorance was regarded now as per fec t ion and with the appearance of Rousseau's Emile these t h e o r i e s were s t i l l fur ther s t rengthened. Woman's one function in l i f e was to p l ease , to provide an inexhaust ib le fasc ina t ion for her chosen mate and by subordinat ing he r se l f to h i s w i l l , to exa l t him and, in him, the dominant sex to a pos i t ion of s t i l l g r ea t e r g lo ry . A reac t ion aga ins t such an extreme was, of course, inev i t ab le and the r e a c t i o n i t s e l f proved, in turn , extreme. In the seven t ies and e i g h t i e s Storm and s t r e s s excesses found expression in l i t e r a t u r e and the sent imental ized woman was r e j ec t ed in favour of one morally free and given the wildest poss ib le l i cense in the adjustment of sex r e l a t i o n s . Woman became now a being with a great force of w i l l and possessed of extreme sensua l i t y which her l i b e r t y taught her to s a t i s f y . The i d e a l for t h i s school and fo r the Romanticists who l a t e r accepted many of these t heo r i e s , was found in the figure of Goethe's Adelheid von Waldorf although i t i s s ign i f i can t tha t Goethe himself soon emerged from t h i s sor t of excess and came under the more balanced and moderate creed of the C l a s s i c i s t s . This taught saner as well as - from the woman's s tand-point - j u s t e r t heo r i e s on t h i s quest ion and in the works of Wieland, Lessing, Goethe and S c h i l l e r , we see woman presented i n extremely glowing colours . Here a balance is struck and a nobler conception of womanhood takes the place of the extreme views of the e a r l i e r yea rs . Germany's c l a s s i c i s t s are e s s e n t i a l l y humanitarian in t h e i r doct r ines and t h e i r opinions on the question of woman a r e , as would be expected, l i b e r a l . Woman becomes in the works of these a r t i s t s , a human being of marked n o b i l i t y of purpose and with a w i l l and hero ic determinat ion t o carry out t h i s purpose. No longer i s she the f o i l of man but i s placed in a pos i t ion of equal i ty and in such masterpieces a s Maria S tuar t , Iphigenie and Die Jung_frau von Orleans, we even f ind her depicted as in many re spec t s man's super io r . Yet, although such views were eommonly expressed in the l i t e r a r y works of Germany's leading c l a s s i c i s t s , these t heo r i e s were by no means common nor, for the most p a r t , were these p r inc ip l e s ca r r i ed i n to ac tua l experience by the great minds which propounded them. However, although the con-cept ions thus presented were obviously highly idea l ized and considered in the l i g h t a lso of a r t i s t i c e f fec t r a the r than of cold l o g i c , yet the school exer ted , unconsciously perhaps, an immense influence upon the l a t e r a t t i t u d e to t h i s question. Much more conscious and de l ibe ra te were the views of the Romanticists , who d e f i n i t e l y taught the doctr ine of the l i b e r a t i o n of woman and gave expression to such ideas in t h e i r works. These teachings were, i n . l a rge p a r t , accepted and ca r r i ed on by the Young Germany movement. The members of t h i s school were e s s e n t i a l l y propogandists and among these young enthusiasts there was shown a marked effort to make their theories conform to the requirements of actual life. They sought, by journalistic devices, to make their doctrine universally known and appreciated. They preached not only the moral freedom of woman but they carried their creed even farther and sought also to find a wider place for woman in social life. Their influence was immense. By clever propoganda they sought the spread of their ideas over Germany and soon this radical doctrine of woman's moral and social freedom became a subject of common discussion. In the early works of their contemporary, Hebbel, who was temperamentally a conservative, we see a distinct attempt to counteract the influence exerted by these extremists and the early her-oines are, by no means, the mor-ally free, unfettered women of the Young G-ermany creed. Judith, Genoveva and Klara are very definitely bound by the laws of propriety and feminine modesty, and in Genoveva, the "patient Griselda", not in the over-aggressive Judith, we see the ideal which Hebbel sets up against the emancipated woman of the movement he opposes. In the plays of Hebbel's maturity, however, as has already been pointed out, there is evidence of a change in his attitude to womanhood and its rights. His viewpoint becomes very much more liberal and yet there remains a moderation, a sanity in his theories which never permits of an approach to excess. Woman again attains the place of honour given her by Goethe and Schiller but Hebbel goes a s tep "beyond these a r t i s t s and openly discusses the quest ion of woman's sphere . S c h i l l e r ' s Jungfrau von Orleans and Goethe's Iphigenie both present noble womanhood yet the s t ruggle in which they take pa r t i s not s o c i a l as are those of Mariamne and Rhodope. Woman i s there p ic tured as man's equal c e r t a i n l y , but there i s no def in i t e attempt to deal with the i n j u s t i c e of her forced submission. This i s , on the other hand, d e f i n i t e l y Hebbel 's aim in his two most remarkable t r aged i e s and in h i s p resen ta t ion of the s t ruggles of Mariamne and Rhodope he seeks to present his arguments for a more generous t reatment of the sex. Thus while Hebbel i s not by any means the f i r s t to see woman's n o b i l i t y , he i s among the e a r l i e s t to demand tha t t h i s n o b i l i t y be granted i t s due cons idera t ion . In t h i s r e spec t , then , Hebbel may be regarded as the forerunner of Ibsen and not only are t h e i r aims in pa r t s im i l a r , but in Herodes und Mariamne Hebbel even p resen t s , in a romantic and co lor fu l manner, the same problem which Ibsen in his r e a l i s t i c and ungarnished s tyle has so e f fec t ive -l y t r e a t e d in iL P o l l ' s House. Nora and Mariamne stand side by side in t h e i r b a t t l e for the recogni t ion of t h e i r indiv idual r i g h t s ; the l a t t e r d ies in the struggle while the fate of Nora i s l e f t unsolved, yet both, even i f temporari ly defeated, have remained s p i r i t u a l l y triumphant in the b a t t l e which i s u l t ima te ly won. Like Mariamne, Nora, too, r ebe l s a t the t reatment she rece ives and l ike her predecessor who had c r ied in indignat ion "Ich bin ihm nur e in Ding und wel te r n i c h t s , 9 she r e sen t s the s imi la r i n j u s t i c e to which Torvald has subjected her . "I have ex i s t ed only to perform t r i c k s for youI" she complains while , when her husband reproves her for her r e b e l l i o n with the words "Before a l l e l se you are a wife and mother," she r e p l i e s conf ident ly "I don ' t bel ieve tha t any longer . I bel ieve tha t before a l l e l s e I am a reasonable human being jus t as you a r e l " ' 3 - ' How c l e a r l y these words r e c a l l the l i n e s spoken by Marianne before her death when she had u t t e r ed the weighty l i n e s , "Kann ich noch leben? Kann ich mit Dem noch leben, der in mir Nicht einmal Gottes Ebenbild mehr eh r t ? " The cry in e i t h e r case i s for a broader, more l i b e r a l cons idera t ion of -woman's r i g h t s and while the one appeal i s made in beau t i f u l , musical ve rse , the o ther , in pi thy prose , the r e s u l t i n g e f f e c t s are no t , in the l a s t a n a l y s i s , so very d i s s i m i l a r . Both Nora and Mariamne awaken our e n t i r e sympathy while for Herodes and Torvald, the blinded m a t e r i a l i s t s , we fee l the p i t y which a r i s e s from an under-standing of t h e i r point of view. The real ism of Ibsen gains in power perhaps, what Hebbel 's more romantic treatment gains i n poe t ic appea l . The two plays are the s incere ex-press ions of two widely d i s s imi la r minds; t h e i r s tagecraf t i s obviously d i f f e r e n t , t h e i r treatment poles apar t , yet with these obvious d i f fe rences , they a re a t one in one important respect - in the l i b e r a l t h e o r i e s which they seek so ea rnes t ly to express . m Vol .VTT.147 . That Hebbel, many years before Ibsen, voiced in part at leas t the Norwegian's opinion on the question of woman's r igh t s , ref lec ts to his glory and detracts nothing from the fame of his successor. Hebbel, an a r t i s t and poet certainly^ could never have caught the ear of the public as did Ibsen years l a t e r . Their geniuses are very different although the i r social theories were similar, and while Hebbel's voice was among the f i r s t to raise the cry for the l ibera t ion of woman, i t was Ibsen who gave power and volume to that appeal. BIBLIOGRAPHY Hebbel, Friedrich: Werke (cited W.), Berlin. B.Behr. n.d. Hebbel, Friedrich: Tagebucher (cited T.), Berlin, 1905. Hebbel, Friedrich: Briefe, Berlin, 1904. Ibsen, Henrik: Collected Works, London, 1909. Bartels, Adolf: Christian Friedrich Hebbel, Leipzig, Reclam. n.d. Kuh, Emil: Biographie Friedrich Hebbels, Vienna, 1912. KTammer, Friedrich: Deutsche Literaturgesohichte des 19. und 20. Jahrhunderts, Dresden, 1924. Meyer, Richard: Die deutsche Litera tar des Heunzehnten Jahrhonderts, Berlin, 1910. Vogt tmd Koch: Geschiohte der deutschen Literatur, Leipzig, 1920. 

Cite

Citation Scheme:

        

Citations by CSL (citeproc-js)

Usage Statistics

Share

Embed

Customize your widget with the following options, then copy and paste the code below into the HTML of your page to embed this item in your website.
                        
                            <div id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidgetDisplay">
                            <script id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidget"
                            src="{[{embed.src}]}"
                            data-item="{[{embed.item}]}"
                            data-collection="{[{embed.collection}]}"
                            data-metadata="{[{embed.showMetadata}]}"
                            data-width="{[{embed.width}]}"
                            async >
                            </script>
                            </div>
                        
                    
IIIF logo Our image viewer uses the IIIF 2.0 standard. To load this item in other compatible viewers, use this url:
http://iiif.library.ubc.ca/presentation/dsp.831.1-0099511/manifest

Comment

Related Items