Trauerspiel und Offenbarung: Apokalyptik als Reflexionsfläche ästhetischer Theorie in Andreas Gryphius’ Catharina von Georgien

Christian Clement


This article explores the extensive use of apocalyptic imagery in Andreas Gryphius’ drama Catharina von Georgien. The author argues that in this play, Gryphius uses apocalypticism not only as a literary tool to demonstrate the futility of all worldly things, as was common in baroque literature, but also as a medium of reflecting about and illustrating drama theory. As Gryphius describes how drama can facilitate a deeper understanding of the world and the self, he refers to mystical concepts such as imitatio and unio, thus establishing a theory of drama which closely links not only aesthetics and apocalypse, but also aesthetic and mystical experience. Thus drama itself turns into a genuine apocalypse, whose purpose it is to facilitate transcendent experience. (CC; in German)

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