J. M. R. Lenz: Der Hofmeister oder Vorteile der Privaterziehung [The Tutor; or, the Advantages of Private Education]

(2034 words)

Lenz’ play Der Hofmeister [The Tutor, 1774] explores questions surrounding education and self-realisation in the context of the fraught relationship between the aristocracy and the middle class and between parents and children. The play’s central character is Hermann Läuffer, private tutor to the children of Major von Berg, Leopold and Gustchen. When Gustchen becomes pregnant and runs away from home, suspicion falls on Läuffer, who also runs away and finds refuge with the village schoolmaster Wenzeslaus. Subsequently, he is racked with guilt when he believes that Gustchen has committed suicide, which leads him to castrate himself. Yet the close of the play sees a happy outcome: both Läuffer and Gustchen marry f…

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Griffiths, Elystan. "Der Hofmeister oder Vorteile der Privaterziehung". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 12 September 2005
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=12294, accessed 27 September 2016.]