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undisturbed enjoyment of grace and beauty. In Die
versunkene Glocke (1895) Hauptmann composed a work
which did not demand this surrender. The subject
in this case did not entail any delineation of rude reality
nor any ugly offence against morality; still further,
the play is written in verse, is dipped in the fragrance
of the fairy-atmosphere and shows the love of a sweet,
elf-like creature for an artist with ideals. That was
the right diet for theatre-goers. Rautendelein became
their favorite character, Nickelmann amused them by
his wild appearance and his amorous quacking, and
the forest-goblin by his capers and his little, humorous
rudenesses which were gladly put up with from him.
No one worried about the obscurities in the character
of Heinrich, the bellfounder. And yet that was the
key of the play, for Die versunkene Glocke is a portrait
of the author, taken after the failure of Florian Geyer.
Hatred of and contempt for the powers of darkness,
who have plunged his difficult, artistic production into
the deep lake, the determination to make grand chimes
on the mountain, not for the present, but for a newer
and purer race of men, the fight against the ignorant
Philistines who begrudge the master his good fortune,
all this is worked into the mysterious character of
Master Heinrich and has obscured the picture. Just as
obscure is the symbolism, of which Hauptmann makes
much in this play, and the thought-content by which



200 GERMAN DRAMA

he sought to give the poem greater weight. Nowhere
in Hauptmann's other dramas has one such a feeling
that this is a work with a conscious purpose which has
cost much labor.

It is given to him to succeed completely only where
he can reproduce reality with a mastery of accurate
art. Thus he created that striking and true picture of
Fuhrmann Henschel (1898). The drama seems to be
telling a story, filled out as it is with the usual acces-
sories of explanatory and entertaining episodes. But
in reality it is a question after all of relating inner
experience. With the aid of complete mastery of all
dramatic expedients the union of a naturalistic de-
scription of conditions with a deeply moving course of
fate is carried through to completion. In Henschel,
the honest teamster with deep and tender feelings, and
Hanne, the sensual w r ife at his side exulting in her
strength, Hauptmann has created two very excellent
dramatic figures. For the most part, by a trick in
the arrangement of perspective, he has secured them
the leading position everywhere in the scenes out of
which, by the law of his art, they must not step. Haupt-
mann now aims at an illusion which corresponds in
every way to the impression of reality only that, unseen
by the spectator, he grades, by the position in the scene,
the proportion and the shading of the figures according
to their importance for the drama.

In the farcical comedy Schluck und Jau (1900) he
aimed at uniting joyous caprice and sadness, Shake-
sperean romantic comedy and rude realistic comic, but
the fusion did not succeed and the play is a disappoint-
ment.

It was the same with Michael Kramer (1900), where



GERHART HAUPTMANN 201

the intensification had progressed to such an extent that
the external incidents seemed quite indifferent. In Der
arme Heinrich (1902) the dramatist again followed his
romantic inclinations but did not make them so accepta-
ble to the public and the critics as in Die versunkene
Glocke. The epic material would not readily accom-
modate itself to the demands of the stage, and the
few instances of strong external effect which the legend
offered, such as the discovery of Heinrich 's disease and
the interrupted sacrifice, did not appear because of
disinclination to all material effects. Instead the bodily
sufferings of the unfortunate hero were increased to
a deep soul-torture bordering on madness and to the
girl was given a hazy, dawning sexual desire instead
of childish inclination. The closing of the play in
pomp and glory did not produce the happy effect which
the dramatist had probably promised himself.

After Elga, which is a very superficial dramatization
of a short story by Grillparzer, and was only published
later (1905), he wrote a worthy companion piece to
Fuhrmann Henschel in Rose Bernd (1903), a work
full of great and most deeply affecting tragedy. The
lot of the unhappy deserted girl, who, for fear of shame,
kills her child and comes under the law, has been treated
very often in literature. Goethe's Gretchen is before
us as the greatest of all these unfortunates. Even
though the magic, which the highest literary power alone
can give, be lacking in poor Rose, after all she appeals
to us as just as true, her fate just as conclusive and
touching. Here, as there, we see a lovely, bright
creature, whose beauty excites passion and evil desires,
surrender herself unsuspectingly to the intoxicating
happiness of first love until, waking from her dream,



202 GERMAN DRAMA

she is compelled to recognize that she is guilty, "given
over to evil spirits and to a criticising unsympathetic
humanity." In the deepest trouble she ripens to a
woman, out of the child develops a criminal. The
secondary characters also and the whole environment
are conceived and reproduced just as truly and sympa-
thetically as the heroine. The technique is admirable
in its simple logic and beautiful symmetry, and assuredly
a later time will count this work with its lofty and
ripe art among the most valuable that Hauptmann has
produced.

The highest hopes for the future of the German
drama are at present centred in him. He is not the
great writer who, w r ith creative imagination, places over
against the real world its counterfeit in a new self-
created one, but he is reckoned among the precursors
who prepare the instrument with which the genius may
later produce the most glorious work. That he may
soon appear is the wish of all who take a serious interest
in our drama and who see in it not a subject of light
entertainment, but the most effective means for the
artistic uplifting of the whole nation.



THE PRODUCT OF THE CENTURY

THE question as to the importance to be assigned to
the nineteenth century in the history of the German
drama is not too easy to answer because a number of
very different factors are to be taken into account.

In passing judgment, the evolution of the highest
class, of tragedy, will have the greatest weight. Its
prevailing forms remained essentially unchanged during
the period. The attempts to oppose to the classic ideal
of beauty new, romantic, realistic or naturalistic forms,
have led to no generally recognized results and the
estimate of their value is conditioned by theoretical
suppositions or by the party-standpoint. The most im-
portant function in the whole range of the arts falls
to drama, that is, by the visible production of the
incidents of the sensible and psychical worlds to exercise
upon the most extensive classes of the nation an im-
mediate, deep and aesthetic influence. For this only
Kleist and Grillparzer come into consideration along
with the great works of classic times, while for Hebbel
and Ludwig a fairly large circle of intelligent sup-
porters is only just being formed. Hauptmann's dramas
are still too modern to allow one to judge what final
importance is to be attached to the great success of
individual works and still less can any other work
of the present be termed a lasting addition to the assets
of the past. There is, therefore, to be noted in lofty
drama neither assured progress in matters of form nor
an important increase in the number of possessions.
203



204 GERMAN DRAMA

In contrast with this, the nineteenth century, in ad-
vancing beyond Mozart, contributed to musical drama,
a work of great importance, Beethoven's Fidelio, and a
new style, the Romantic. By two great masters, Weber
and Wagner, it was carried to the highest perfection,
which, it would seem, is not to be surpassed. After a
long conflict the conviction is now generally accepted
that Wagner's operas constitute the greatest work of
the century in the whole field of drama.

The middle classes, play and comedy, the value and
influence of which is determined essentially by their
subjects and technique, have been lifted in two stages
above the position reached by Iffland and Kotzebue.
First, when "Young Germany" and its successors ap-
propriated from the French play of intrigue the more
skilful handling of plot and dialogue; secondly, when
by the influence of Ibsen and Naturalism the list of
subjects was extended by the moral and social problems
of the present day, the characterization intensified and
increased illusion effected by the aid of an analytical
technique more nearly akin to reality. According to
their nature and subjects these middle classes are so
determined by the conditions of the times that they
but rarely produce works of long life and, therefore,
what is attained cannot be judged according to the
number of permanent productions. The increase of
average ability is, however, unmistakable when we com-
pare the works of the best play and comedy writers
of the present with those of their predecessors.

On the other hand, the rhymed tale (Schicank), the
farce (Posse} and the folk-drama offer nothing but a
picture of continued decay which cannot be stayed by



PRODUCT OF THE CENTURY 205

individually better disposed writers or even those more
highly gifted. The artistic requirements, which orig-
inate in dramatic form and the nature of aesthetic en-
joyment, have been thrown overboard as useless ballast.
Superficial entertainment by senseless comic, insipid
sentimentality or even by immoral means is the only
object.

To determine the total increase of new works which
the nineteenth century has brought the German theatre,
we now possess a reliable aid in Der deutsche Biihnen-
spielplan, which, on the basis of official information,
has noted during the last six years, from Sept. 1, 1899,
to Aug. 31, 1905, the number of performances in all
German theatres at all worthy of mention, in 1905 427.

The dramas which have appeared since 1880 have
been left unnoticed in the following list because it can
not be said yet which of them will be permanent: the
dramas between 1800 and 1880, however, have been
collected, provided that they have been performed at
least ten times in each of the last six years in all
German theatres combined. If the number has been
under ten, then it is a question of single experiments
or of revivals set in motion by some local cause or other
and one can hardly speak of a real continued existence.
The figures in brackets mean the number of perform-
ances in the last six years and thus permit the varying
popularity of the individual works to be seen, even
if for a limited period only.

On this basis, then, of the dramas by writers whose
chief work was done in the period up to 1830, the fol-
lowing prove to be living on the stage to-day:



206 GERMAN DRAMA

SCHILLER, Maria Stuart (137, 168, 157, 145, 140,

247*).
Jung f ran von Orleans (103, 85, 113, 81,

131, 185).
Die Braut von Messina (36, 44, 48, 75,

43, 131).
Wilhelm Tell (176, 131, 209, 190, 274,

412).
Demetrius (23, 35, 10, 23, 15, 74).

GOETHE, Faust, Part. II (30, 36, 15, 11, 10, 19).
HEINRICH Der zerbrochene Krug (37, 47, 35, 38, 53,

VONKLEIST, 41).

Das Kathchen von Heilbronn (62, 49, 48,

72, 56, 64).
Der Prim von Hamburg (32, 61, 27, 32,

23, 54).

GRILLPARZER, Die Ahnfrau (23, 22, 26, 42, 49, 32).
Sappho (23, 37, 29, 54, 49, 52).
Medea (11, 28, 20, 52, 28, 63).
Des Meeres und der Liebe Wellen (37, 31,

40, 34, 35, 47).
Der Traum em Leben (24, 31, 16, ]5, 26,

13).

Weh' dcm, der lilgt (18, 13, 27, 15, 31, 30).
Die Judin von Toledo (22, 28, 30, 28, 36,

54).

P. A. WOLFF, Preziosa, music by Weber (42, 45, 43, 70,
52, 64).

Of the dramatists of "Young Germany" and their
successors the following are still played:

* 1905 was the hundredth anniversary of Schiller's death.



PRODUCT OF THE CENTURY 207

LAUBE, Graf Essex (25, 16, 13, 26, 24, 18).

Die Karlsschuler (29, 15, 19, 16, 21, 80).

GUTZKOW, Uriel Acosta (27, 24, 32, 45, 78, 38).

Zopf und Schwert (12, 25, 18, 12, 17, 28).

FREYTAG, Die Journalisten (150, 83, 93, 140,t 98,
130).

BRACHVOGEL, Narziss (34, 32, 24, 23, 34, 34).

A couple of older historical dramas without artistic
value are still popular because of clever technique and
of popular roles.

REDWITZ, Philippine Welser (15, 17, 12, 17, 25, 17).
HERSCH, Die Anna-Liese (50, 30, 43, 50, 44, 35).

Because of its regular performance in Catholic dis-
tricts on All-Souls-Day the following survives:

RAUPACH, Der Mutter und sein Kind (16, 15, 22, 21,
17, 22).

Otherwise this fearful dramatist and his celebrated
contemporary Halm have vanished entirely. Only one
work by Raimund has survived and also one by Nestroy,
whose farces were formerly so very often repeated.

RAIMUND, Der Versckwender (66, 70, 61, 66, 89, 98).

NESTROY, Lumpacivagabundus (62, 85, 155, 91, 134,
89).

Of the older North German farces one still survives,
while the little genre picture by Schneider, Der Kur-
mdrker und die Pikarde, vanished in the last year.

f 1903 was the fiftieth anniversary of the first performance.



208 GERMAN DRAMA

KADER, Robert und Bertram (95, 112, 121, rj:J,

112, 116).

Undiminished attractive power for the public of
the smaller theatres is possessed by dramatized novels
with exciting complications and theatrically effective
characters. This is proved by the stationary figures for
the plays of

FRAU Dorf und Stadt (49, 58, 41, 51, 65, 62).

BIRCH- Die Grille (31, 35, 46, 38, 40, 48).
PFEIFFER, Die Waise aus Lowood (42, 56, 39, 44, 32,

48).

But the end of the older civilian comedy is coming,
for only its chief representative has reached the limit
of ten performances in each of the last six years.

BENEDIX, Die zartlichen Verwandten (24, 46, 49, 55,
53, 100).

For the present the writer who may be called his
next of kin keeps his position better:

L'ARRONGE, Mein Leopold (36, 60, 66, 59, 68, 83).

Hasemanns Tochter (62, 76, 66, 70, 82,

131).
Doktor Klaus (107, 97, 90, 169, 119, 133).

The plays which Moser wrote, partly alone, partly in
collaboration with others, serve for the lightest enter-
tainment w r ith continued success.

GUSTAV Das Stiftungsfest (48, 25, 28, 41, 15, 30).

VON MOSER, Ultimo (28, 16, 18, 25, 17, 15).

Der Veilchenfresser (54, 79, 95, 75, 114,

83).
Der Bibliothekar (48, 47, 41, 53, 98, 58).



PRODUCT OF THE CENTURY 209

MOSER AND Der Registrator auf Reisen (21, 38, 34, 35,
L'ARRONGE, 22, 57).

MOSER AND Krieg im Fried&n (77, 75, 65, 58, 123,
F. VON 146).

SCHONTHAN,

If we ask what has been preserved of those writers
who, as representatives of Realism, were looking for
new paths, away from the beaten highway of old art
and of routine, the result as it refers to Hebbel, the
greatest German dramatist of the century, is really
shameful, for he can appear in our list with only one
work:

HEBBEL, Maria Magdalena (21, 33, 47, 27, 39, 43).

while Die Nibelungen, which comes next to this tragedy
in number of performances, really ought not to be
cited because in the last four years it has not reached
the limit set:

HEBBEL, Die Nibelungen, Parts I and II (16, 8, 11,

30, 22, 26).
Part III (13, 4, 10, 20, 12, 6).

So little does Hebbel's mighty creation find a place
to-day on the stage. Fortunately the signs are in-
creasing that the theatre and the public are beginning
to show him greater consideration and it cannot fail
that for his works there is coming a time of more fre-
quent performance.

Otto Ludwig, too, has not a full claim to be men-
tioned with the one work which is to be considered
here, for the number of performances of Die Makkabaer
amount only to 4, 12, 2, 1, 3, 2.



210 GERMAN DRAMA

LUDWIG, Der Erbfb'rster (7, 43, 31, 40, 32, 18).

There is at least a continued interest shown in this
affecting drama, because the goodly numbers are not
due to local success but are scattered over a compara-
tively large number of theatres.

A striking confirmation of what was said of Anzen-
gruber is found in the fact that the popularity of his
four works which are still given repeatedly stands in a
reverse relation to their artistic merit:

ANZEN- Der Pfarrer von Kirch f eld (84, 71, 78,

GRUBER, 123, 162, 114).

Der Meineidbauer (71, 45, 51, 37, 60, 41).
Der G'wissenswurm (13, 26, 15, 34, 32, 61).
Das vierte Gebot (23, 37, 39, 23, 28, 36).

In the field of opera the following older works are
to be mentioned on the same hypothesis as the spoken
drama :

BEETHOVEN, Fidelia (165, 145, 154, 167, 176, 182).

WEBER, Der Freischutz (240, 278, 243, 234, 248,

261).
Oberon (56, 97, 56, 34, 79, 47).

MARSCHNER, Hans II tiling (48, 41, 54, 37, 33, 34).

KREUTZER, Das Nachtlager in Granada (87, 73, 60,
77, 54, 75).

LORTZING, Zar und Zimmermann (167, 154, 190, 165,

198, 201).

Der WildscJiiitz (105, 76, 95, 97, 96, 62).
Der Waffenschmied (164, 145, 155, 139,

158, 179).
Undine (186, 192, 217, 150, 184, 185).



PRODUCT OF THE CENTURY 211

FLOTOW, Alessandro Stradella (76, 57, 58, 50, 55,

67).
Martha (167, 182, 190, 173, 180, 187).

NICOLAI, Die lustigen Weiber von Windsor (147,

137, 143, 141, 137, 154).

Later, because of the overpowering influence of Wag-
ner, only two other German operas in the old style
acquired a lasting influence:

BRULL, Das goldene Kreuz (28, 28, 40, 34, 33, 25).

GOLDMARK, Die Konigin von Saba (32, 43, 31, 49, 25,

47).

Otherwise the victory belonged to the great tone-
dramas by the "master," the number of performances
being of all the greater importance because the most
of them abound in insuperable difficulties for the
smaller theatres:

WAGNER, Rienzi (43, 30, 33, 21, 35, 42).

Der fliegende Hollander (202, 155, 194,

187, 188, 218).

Tannhauser (269, 273, 269, 283, 286, 326).
Lohengrin (294, 294, 297, 284, 311, 341).
Tristan und Isolde (53, 72, 59, 60, 87, 68).
Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg (142, 171,

138, 176, 191, 192).

Das Rheingold (52, 77, 105, 82, 80, 96).
Die Walkiire (128, 131, 162, 148, 147, 168).
Siegfried (64, 86, 89, 115, 113, 127).
Gotterdammerung (59, 76, 78, 97, 85, 80).



212 GERMAN DRAMA

Apart from some operettas, the quoting of which can
be spared, all dramatic works from 1800-1880 have
been named, which the German theatre may to-day
consider as its possession. The number appears large
in comparison with the dramatic inheritance which
earlier centuries left their heirs, but it is to be noted
that the nineteenth century passed without great
changes in regard to the prevailing tendency of art.
So soon as these take place then doubtless almost all
that belongs to the passing vogue in art will sink into
oblivion. The experience of earlier times teaches that
only a few works of superior and absolute merit or of
lofty contents in general human significance defy the
changes of time. Therefore one may now prophesy
even for the greater number of the above-named dramas
a sure death. This fate will overtake first the older
middle-class plays and comedies, standing, as they do,
on a lower plane in psychology and technique.

If the sum total of the century in this field were
decided only by the compass and merit of the increase
in new works, then a halt might be made right here.
But two other factors demand notice also in the history
of the drama, dramatic art and the public.

At the beginning of the nineteenth century the German
drama possessed scarcely a single worthy temple. The
spectators assembled in wretched, uncomfortable, dimly
lighted theatres, the stage offered for illusion a very
meagre aid with its badly painted movable scenes and
views and very rarely was care bestowed on historical
fidelity in scenery and dress. The staff was small in
number, the actors had to play the most varied roles
and everywhere had to assist in opera as well, which
only here and there had a few trained singers at its



PRODUCT OF THE CENTURY 213

disposal. The regular theatres had to pay their own
way, only a few courts supplied a small grant. Of
course the expenses were not very high because of the
simplicity of the external apparatus and the small
pay of the actors. The latter were glad if they got
a sure home and had a modest income.

To-day all the large and medium-sized cities in Ger-
many possess respectable, often indeed, grand theatres.
They have now at their disposal a complicated machinery
and artistically painted decorations of deceptive ac-
curacy; also a very great number of objects for equip-
ment and costly costumes, true to history. However
great this progress appears, it brings this disadvantage
in its train, that quick changes within an act are im-
possible because of the large apparatus to be set in
motion every time. This breaks the conception, es-
pecially in the older plays, divides the acts into a
series of separate scenes and thus destroys the sense
of the dramatic technique of the drama. The most
modern dramatists have sought to suit themselves to
the given circumstances by avoiding any change within
an act and, wherever possible, having the whole action
proceed in the same space, a procedure favored by the
modern technique which brings only the last stage of the
action on the boards.

The enlargement of stage-space, undertaken for the
sake of the opera, is prejudicial to combined play, while
the extensive audience-chambers of more modern the-
atres deprive the players of contact with the public
and force them to overstep naturalness in speech and
movement, in order that word and gesture may be
understood by all hearers. A remedy for this grave
drawback is to be desired, especially for the large towns



214 GERMAN DRAMA

which are able to build special smaller theatres for the
play, because the chief tendency of dramatic art is
now toward an increased refinement of psychical expres-
sion and suggestive effects.

As the performances of the players live on only
in the subjective impressions created by them, a com-
parison of former ability with that of to-day is in
general excluded. Even the testimony of the same wit-
nesses in the field is not to be trusted, because first
impressions are strongest and youth is far more easily
moved to enthusiasm than circumspect age. Objectively
it can only be said that the present actors have as a
rule command over a higher intellectual culture than
their predecessors, and that specialization of roles must
increase the possibility of having full command over
special departments. From this it may be concluded
that the ability to act well must, in general, have in-
creased, but the great increase in theatres and the
numerous staff which they employ has brought it about
that the demand for really talented and satisfactorily
trained actors can not even approximately be supplied.
Therefore the complaint is general and justifiable that
there is scarcely a theatre in condition to offer a com-
pletely satisfactory cast for a great drama.

Decisive progress means, by contrast, the driving
out of empty rhetoric and of "stars," a more careful
development of combined play and an endeavor to pro-
duce more direct effect by finer description of motives,
and by a staging which is sympathetic, historically true
and corresponds to actual life. To the conductor is
now granted the proper and necessary power of regulat-
ing, according to his wish, the combinations of work
on the part of the numerous forces in front of and



PRODUCT OF THE CENTURY 215

behind the scenes, so as to help the play to become a
unit in embodying the purposes of the writer.

The expensive external apparatus, the increase of the
number of the staff and their salaries, which reach
excessive figures through competition for the services
of every available actor, have greatly increased the
expenditure of the theatres. Because of this, regard
for income has become far more compulsory than before,
even for Court theatres. In spite of the subsidies
granted them, they are, after all, even more than form-
erly, dependent upon the ticket-money, as the grant in
all cases covers but a portion of the expenses.

Thus there is impressed on all theatres more sharply
than ever the character of an industrial institute, and
in few places does success attend the effort to keep out
what is artistically distasteful by a sensible balancing
of material and ideal interests or to withstand the de-
basing inclinations of the great masses.

Only those theatres which are conducted with this
noble purpose are to be recognized, without reservation,


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