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RecognitionsA Study in Poetics$
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Terence Cave

Print publication date: 1990

Print ISBN-13: 9780198151630

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198151630.001.0001

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From Drama to Narrative: Goethe and Kleist

From Drama to Narrative: Goethe and Kleist

(p.369) 5 From Drama to Narrative: Goethe and Kleist

Cave Terence

Oxford University Press

This chapter begins with a discussion of how the shift of critical interest from muthos to êthos at once marks the late neoclassical era and heralds the decline of Aristotelian poetics. Plot disappears from the higher criticism except as a vehicle for character or meaning, and with it, anagnorisis moves out of the limelight, in theory at least. In practice, it still returns even in tragedy, although decreasingly. Goethe's Iphigénie auf Tauris, written at what now seems like the last moment, shows how it retains its power to dazzle. But the signs of a difference are already there: the play can be read even at a literal level as the triumph of character over plot. The chapter also considers the stories of Kleist.

Keywords:   Goethe, Iphigénie auf Tauris, muthos, êthos, Kleist

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