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Light in GermanyScenes from an Unknown Enlightenment$
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T. J. Reed

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780226205106

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226205243.001.0001

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Talking to Tyrants

Talking to Tyrants

Pens against Power

(p.62) Chapter 4 Talking to Tyrants
Light in Germany

T.J. Reed

University of Chicago Press

In the absence of a free political forum, literature (especially drama) was a means to portray and attack corruption, oppression and injustice. It could use contemporary settings, as Lessing and Schiller did, or shape these issues under a historical or mythical veil (Lessing and Schiller again, Goethe, Wieland). Highpoints are scenes of direct confrontation between representatives of liberty and tyranny—Enlightenment debate played out by flesh-and-blood actors, at the highest political and poetic level.

Keywords:   absolutism, drama, tragedy, history, Spain, Netherlands, crusades, myth

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