Dramatic images: The visual performance of Gryphius' tragedies [electronic resource].

Greene, Shannon Keenan.
221 p.
Germanic literature.
Comparative literature.
Local subjects:
Penn dissertations -- Germanic languages and literatures. (search)
Germanic languages and literatures -- Penn dissertations. (search)
System Details:
Mode of access: World Wide Web.
Andreas Gryphius (1616-1664) is ranked by German literary historians as the foremost lyricist and dramatist of the Silesian School of the mid-seventeenth century. The first editions of three of his tragedies Catharina von Georgien, Carolus Stuardus, and Papinianus, were illustrated with copper-plate engravings and etchings, and I consider these as performances of the three Gryphian tragedies.
I argue for the importance of the performative in the illustrations by developing several points. The first of these is the issue of materiality within the plays. In contrast to what the Baroque proposes to be, one finds an emphasis on objects, costumes, and bodies. I also address the space of the frontispiece, a space which frequently contains stage details and theater vocabulary. I then argue that theater and frontispieces are both visual, that Renaissance theater is based on medieval painting, that there is a collapse between two- and three-dimensional visuality in the arts for this period, and that the seventeenth-century reception of these arts makes it possible to imagine that frontispieces are performances. Finally, I remark on the physical aspects of the copper-plate engraving process, the introduction of greater detail and volume to the reproducible arts, and the connotations of falsity suggested by copper in contrast to gold.
I then discuss the illustrated Gryphian dramas. For Catharina, the etching numbered six shows what the play cannot possibly show--it is an ideal performance. The etching numbered one is an arrangement of military and courtly objects, and the flattened forms of the objects with respect to their volumed background emphasize objectness. Carolus Stuardus seems to be based on a very specific frontispiece, that of the Eikon basilikae. In the collected works of 1657, the play is grouped with other works under a picture of mourning. In Papinianus, the most theatrical moment, that of Papinianus' execution, has shifted to the periphery, the author's remarks and the frontispiece, while it is in fact absent from the play itself. The play may have been based on illustrations of coins in Gryphius' own possession. Again pictures "precede" the verbal text.
Thesis (Ph.D. in Germanic Languages and Literatures) -- University of Pennsylvania, 1998.
Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 59-04, Section: A, page: 1183.
Supervisors: Karl F. Otto, Jr.; Liliane Weissberg.
Local notes:
School code: 0175.
Weissberg, Liliane, advisor
Otto, Karl F., Jr., advisor
University of Pennsylvania.
Contained In:
Dissertation Abstracts International 59-04A.
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Restricted for use by site license.
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