Beside Heine’s Lorelei, Mignon (from French “cute”, “darling”) has become the most successful heroine of German literature with a European-wide echo in fiction, music, and painting since her appearance as an enigmatic character in Goethe’s Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre [Wilhelm Meister’s Apprenticeship, 1795-96] and the first separate publication of her four songs in 1815. After Wilhelm buys her freedom from a brutal circus-troupe director, who had abducted her in Italy and used her as an acrobat in a male outfit, she devotes herself completely to her savior whom she grows to love in secret and unrequited. What shaped her reception as a larger-than-life figure is her mysterious background, her poetic existence, a…
We have have no profile for this entry. If you are a qualified scholar and you wish to write for The Literary Encyclopedia, please click here to contact us.
Hoffmeister, Gerhart. "Goethe's Mignon and Her Reception". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 11 October 2011
[https://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=17656, accessed 17 January 2019.]