Friedrich Dürrenmatt: Romulus der Grosse [Romulus the Great]

(1362 words)
  • Roger A. Crockett (Washington and Lee University )

The last emperor of Rome, Romulus Augustulus, a mere child whose historical reign lasted but a year, becomes in Dürrenmatt’s play Romulus der Grosse [Romulus the Great] a middle-aged clown who raises chickens while Rome burns. Behind the feigned incompetence of his now twenty-year reign lies the perfect plan to deliver Rome up to annihilation at the hands of the Teutons, a generic term for Germanic barbarians. He has rationalized the loss of Roman lives by the certainty of his own violent death. However, Romulus has miscalculated. The world is not as he imagines it. An unforeseeable coincidence thwarts his plan.

For Dürrenmatt, Romulus the Great represented a career benchmark more significant than …

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Crockett, Roger A.. "Romulus der Grosse". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 10 January 2005
[, accessed 26 September 2016.]