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Tragedy’s EndurancePerformances of Greek Tragedies and Cultural Identity in Germany since 1800$
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Erika Fischer-Lichte

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780199651634

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199651634.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 21 June 2021

Only with Beauty Man Shall Play

Only with Beauty Man Shall Play

Goethe’s Production of Ion in Weimar (1802)

(p.19) 1 Only with Beauty Man Shall Play
Tragedy’s Endurance

Erika Fischer-Lichte

Oxford University Press

Chapter 1, ‘Only with Beauty Man Shall Play. Goethe’s Production of Ion in Weimar (1802)’, proceeds from Goethe’s and Schiller’s responses to the French Revolution. While Goethe hailed the Bildung of the individual—that is, the development of his potential to the full—as the substitute for a revolution, Schiller believed that it was the aesthetic education of the individual that would finally result in a free state. The production of a Greek tragedy as an autonomous work of art that precluded the formation of empathy in the spectator (contrary to the domestic tragedy) was supposed to offer the spectator the possibility of aesthetic distance and thus enable him to acquire Bildung. To this end, Goethe developed a completely new aesthetics that the majority of spectators rejected—Ion turned out to be a flop.

Keywords:   aesthetic distance, aesthetic education, Bildung, French Revolution, performance as an autonomous work of art, spectators’ responses

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