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Title: Franz Grillparzer's dramatic heroines and women's emancipation in nineteenth-century Austria
Author: McCarthy-Rechowicz, Matthew
ISNI:       0000 0004 5915 7467
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2016
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Recent decades have seen an increase in feminist critiques of the works of Franz Grillparzer (1791–1872), and a growing awareness that these deal with contemporary issues around the social roles of women. This study builds on exsiting feminist-themed examinations of Grillparzer's works to show more fully how they fit into the context of calls for women's rights in nineteenth-century Austria. New interpretations of Grillparzer's heroines are made possible by considering the full spectrum of the author's intellectual interests and examining his dramas through the lenses suggested by his reading. Des Meeres und der Liebe Wellen is seen in the context of the Enlightenment, and Sappho and Libussa are analysed with reference to social contract theory. Contemporary feminist approaches are combined with Schiller's thought on stadial history, and with Grillparzer's analysis of Shakespeare's Macbeth, to give new insight into Das goldene Vließ and Die Jüdin von Toledo respectively. Consideration of the lives and works of Grillparzer's female friends provides the context for my analysis, and helps define the original nature of this thesis. While several earlier studies have argued for the influence of Grillparzer's romantic interests on the construction of his heroines, sufficient attention has not been given to these heroines in the context of the intellectual women Grillparzer knew. While I do not argue that Grillparzer's heroines were influenced by the authors and other prominent women he knew, examination of the lives and works of Caroline Pichler, Betty Paoli, Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach, Sophie Schröder and others shows that Grillparzer was on friendly terms with intellectual women throughout his career, and that all of these women were to some degree critical of the contemporary social situation of women.
Supervisor: Ritchie, Robertson Sponsor: Arts and Humanities Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: German ; Franz Grillparzer ; Austrian literature ; women's literature ; theatre ; social history ; women's rights