Navigating and Owning Obedience: Reassessing Friedrich Halm's Griseldis
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AbstractThis article critically reappraises the drama Griseldis (1835), the successful first play of the today largely forgotten Viennese playwright Friedrich Halm. I argue that the comparison between this play and its possible main source, Petrarch’s A Fable of Wifely Obedience and Devotion, offers insights into the reconceptualization of obedience in the nineteenth century. Concretely, I suggest that the most significant changes in Halm’s version serve to make obedience visible as an expression of individual agency, and thus to justify obedience’s role within a liberal ideology. This reading departs from the older scholarly opinion that saw in Halm’s play simply a critique—rather than a complex reinterpretation—of obedience.
GrantingagencySocial Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC)
CitationWagner, M. (2020). Navigating and owning obedience: Reassessing Friedrich Halm's Griseldis. German Studies Review, 43(2), 233-249. http://dx.doi.org/10.1353/gsr.2020.0042
DepartmentSchool of Languages, Linguistics, Literatures and Cultures
InstitutionUniversity of Calgary
PublisherJohns Hopkins University Press
Copyright © 2020 Martin Wagner. This article first appeared in German Studies Review 43:2 (2020), 233-249. Reprinted with permission by Johns Hopkins University Press.