Heinrich von Kleist: Der zerbrochne Krug. Ein Lustspiel [The Broken Jug. A Comedy]

(3021 words)
  • William C. Reeve (Queen's University at Kingston Ontario)

Der zerbrochne Krug [The Broken Jug] reveals its classical roots in its main theme inspired by Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex, in the preservation of the three dramatic unities which complement the action, in the general structure of exposition, trial, and dénouement, and in its analytical technique whereby all significant events have occurred before the drama begins. The main interest thus lies in the unravelling of previous actions. Goethe first produced the play for the Weimar stage on 2 March 1808, but withdrew it after one disastrous performance. This failure was due in part to its refusal to fit into the conventional comedic mold of the period. Goethe admired its qualities, but felt it was written for “an …

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Reeve, William C.. "Der zerbrochne Krug. Ein Lustspiel". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 02 April 2004
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=13111, accessed 26 September 2016.]