by Heinrich von Kleist.
   Premiered 1899. Kleist completed his "comedy based on Molière" in 1807, and it was published that year; the delay before its premiere at the Neues Theater in Berlin nine decades later is due in part to the fact that Kleist's blank-verse treatment of the Amphytrion material has little resemblance to Molière's and indeed is not a comedy as Kleist claimed. It is instead a brilliant extrapolation on the comic device of mistaken identity.
   Kleist follows the Amphytrion legend, in which Zeus seduced and impregnated Amphytrion's wife Alcmene while her husband was on a military campaign. Zeus disguised himself as Amphytrion, and Alcmene gave birth to twin sons: one was Hercules, the son of Zeus; the other was Amphytrion's legitimate issue Iphicles. Al-cmene's failure to recognize Zeus's ploy has comic potential, but Kleist does not exploit it. Zeus's failure to seduce her on his own terms, i.e., as the ruler of the gods, is likewise theatrically effective but not comic. The truly comic is present in the confusion that engulfs Amphytrion's sergeant-at-arms Sosias when he finds himself the servant of two masters, and then he must confront the disguised Mercury as himself.
   Kleist's "comedy" led to several treatments subsequent to the 1899 premiere; the most well known is Jean Giraudoux's Amphytrion 38, which the French playwright claimed was the 38th dramatic version of the material. American Samuel Nathan Behrman (1893-1973) also wrote a comedy on the material, and so did German playwright Peter Hacks, whose blank-verse version enjoyed some popularity after its 1968 premiere in Göttingen. The best treatment of them all is the 1986 Off-Broadway musical Olympus on My Mind, with book and lyrics based on Kleist's play by Barry Harman and music by Grant Sturiale.

Historical dictionary of German Theatre. . 2006.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Amphytrion — Zu diesem Stichwort gibt es keinen Artikel. Möglicherweise ist „Amphitryon“ gemeint. Kategorie: Wikipedia:Falschschreibung …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Amphytrion — Amphitryon Pour les articles homonymes, voir Amphitryon (homonymie). Dans la mythologie grecque, Amphitryon est le fils du roi de Tirynthe Alcée, l’époux d’Alcmène et le père d’Iphiclès. Mythe Amphitryon épousa Alcmène, fille d’Électryon roi de… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Dyne Mousso — est une actrice québécoise née à Montréal, le 17 mai 1930 et décédée le 23 mai 1994 au Québec. Sommaire 1 Biographie 2 Filmographie 3 Récompenses et Nomin …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Guntram Brattia — (* 21. November 1966 in Tirol) ist ein österreichischer Schauspieler und Theaterregisseur. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Leben 2 Filmografie 2.1 Kino 2.2 …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Komaitho — (griechisch Κομαιθώ), auch Komätho, ist in der griechischen Mythologie die Tochter des Pterelaos, dem König der Taphier. Komaitho verliebte sich in Amphitryon, der sich mit Pterelaos im Krieg befand. Pterelaos konnte jedoch nicht besiegt… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Georg Kaiser — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Kaiser. Georg Kaiser, de son vrai nom Friedrich Carl Georg Kaiser, est un écrivain allemand, à la fois auteur de drames et de comédies, essayiste et poète né à Magdebourg (Allemagne) en 1878 et mort à Ascona… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Hercule (film, 1997) — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Hercule (homonymie). Hercule …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Jean-Pierre Giraudoux — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Giraudoux. Jean Pierre Giraudoux Parlementaire français Date de naissance 29 décembre 1919 Date de décès 9 juin …   Wikipédia en Français

  • illusion des sosies —    A French term proposed in 1923 by the French psychiatrist Jean Marie Joseph Capgras (18731950) and his intern Jean Reboul Lachaux to denote what would later come to be known as Capgras syndrome (i.e. illusion of doubles). The expression… …   Dictionary of Hallucinations

  • Chronology — 970 980 Roswitha of Gandersheim writes six comedies in Latin at the Brunshausen Cloister, near Braunschweig. 1185 1240 Neidhart von Reuental s poems presumably become the basis for several Neidhartspiele, comic interludes in Middle High German… …   Historical dictionary of German Theatre

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.