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The Constructive Art of Gryphius' Historical Tragedies

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Prof. Janifer Gerl Stackhouse

This study clarifies how Gryphius worked with a variety of source materials to artistically construct his four historical tragedies. Three conventional dramatic forms and techniques (choruses, poeticized monologues or Prunkreden, and visionary phenomena) are examined to determine how he poetically heightened his source material to proclaim vanitas mundi and the corollary message of gloria coeli. His creative use of these traditional conventions established the procedural mode of drama construction followed in Germany until the end of his century.