Gotthold Ephraim Lessing: Miss Sara Sampson. Ein bürgerliches Trauerspiel in fünf Aufzügen [Miss Sara Sampson] (2170 words)

Friederike von Schwerin-High
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The historical significance of Gotthold Ephraim Lessing's play Miss Sara Sampson for the development of German theater can hardly be overstated. Published in 1755 with no German predecessors in its genre, the play proudly and self-confidently sported the classificatory subtitle bürgerliches Trauerspiel, a term usually translated as “domestic tragedy” or as “bourgeois tragedy”. In the years immediately preceding Lessing's literary activities, the sanctioned theater genres in Germany had been high tragedy (haute tragédie) on the one hand and ridiculing comedy (Verlachkomödie) on the other. Courtly tragedy gave prominence to royal h…

von Schwerin-High, Friederike. "Miss Sara Sampson. Ein bürgerliches Trauerspiel in fünf Aufzügen". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 24 September 2006
[, accessed 20 October 2018.]

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