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Neo-Latin Humanist and Protestant Drama in Germany

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Chapter Summary

This chapter mostly focuses on Neo-Latin drama in the Holy Roman Empire, but it eventually looks across the border to Switzerland. The history of Neo-Latin drama in the German speaking countries can roughly be divided into three periods: the early Humanist period before the Reformation, during the time of the Reformation, and in the late 16th and 17th centuries. Neo-Latin drama, however, was still being written in German speaking countries in the 18th century, not only by Jesuit authors, but also by authors from other religious orders and teachers from Catholic schools. While the early Humanists understood the tragedy as concerning public affairs, the comedy was interpreted as a genre dealing with 'private' affairs, depicting general human faults. Many of the mid sixteenth-century dramas (especially Protestant, though also Catholic ones) existed in both languages, in German and in Latin, so that they could be performed and read in different contexts.

Keywords: early Humanist period; Germany; Jesuit authors; Neo-Latin drama; Protestant drama



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