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No HamletsGerman Shakespeare from Nietzsche to Carl Schmitt$
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Andreas Höfele

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198718543

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198718543.001.0001

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In the Master’s Circle (II)

In the Master’s Circle (II)

Ernst Kantorowicz

3 In the Master’s Circle (II)
No Hamlets

Andreas Höfele

Oxford University Press

Chapter 3 traces the idea of the ‘New Reich’ in the early work of George’s disciple Ernst Kantorowicz, and re-examines his later landmark study of The King’s Two Bodies (1957) in its Georgean context. When Kantorowicz joined the George Circle in the 1920s, the idea of a new or ‘Third’ Reich was gaining a dangerous attraction which at least partly accounts for the bestselling success of Kantorowicz’s unorthodox biography of the medieval emperor Frederick II (192?). When the Nazis founded their Third Reich in 1933, George remained aloof, though many of his followers did not. Kantorowicz, who was driven into exile, never forswore the ‘Master’. Unobtrusively included in The King’s Two Bodies is a tribute to George that is at once nostalgic and critical of George’s ideal of the poet as ruler.

Keywords:   Ernst Kantorowicz, Stefan George, Claus von Stauffenberg, New Reich, Third Reich, exile, Frederick II

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