Fastnachtspiele

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Fastnachtspiele

  • carnival plays of Hans Sachs
  • shift in history of literature

Hans Sachs

  • shoe maker
  • 1494 - 1576
  • 16th Century author
  • born just before Columbus founded USA

1453 - blow to Christians as Turks take Constantinople 

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Martin Luther

  • 1483-1546
  • founded Protestant movement
  • translated Bible from Latin so everyone could read it 
  • money was given to the church 
  • new cathedrals and buildings built
  • wanted to reform the church 

1521 - Diet of Worms (Parliament)

  • HRE period, Pope etc
  • asked Martin Luther to recount and take his 95 theses of 1517 back
  • threat of being killed
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Sachs and the Reformation

Nürnburg

  • big and important city when Sachs was living there
  • really crucial
  • HRE occasionally met there
  • 1423 onwards Regalia of HRE was kept there
  • 1503 - 1505 - war of Landshut Succession
  • 1525 - adoption of Protestantism --> Sachs wanted this 
  • 1532 - Peace of Nürnberg 

6169 - number of catalogued works written by Hans Sachs 

  • he writes in all genres


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Subjektivismus - Sachs

  • 1567 - 'summa al meiner Gedichte'
  • stylises himself as an author
  • the 'signatures' --> signs of his work
  • the invention of the individual 

Humanismus/Renaissance 

  • had a lot of classics in his library e.g. Aesop etc. 
  • used these works 

The '5 Stoffkreise'

  • The Bible
  • Ancient, medieval and contemporary chronicles
  • Ancient, classical literature
  • Medieval literature
  • Contemporary (Italian) literature e.g. Boccaccio (1313 - 75) 
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Carnvial

  • carnival plays
  • historically stopped eating meat - Lent (just before Easter) - go through suffering of Christ to enjoy the resurrection 
  • fasting
  • penance and serious meditation 
  • sexual abstinance
  • before Lent - let hair down
  • Anti-Lent : fasting and its consequences, obscenity in all forms, 'topsy-turvy' world, usual values of Christian society turned upside down

In Carnvial

  • people wander around the streets
  • processions
  • masquerade
  • 'Geselliges Beisammensein'
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Carnival Plays

  • rich tradition
  • happen in particular places e.g. Nürnberg
  • Hans Sachs plays allow us to know what carnival plays were about
  • introducing stage comedy into Germany 

Plot and Setting

  • often reference taverns
  • audience often ends up as 'court of law' 
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Forms of Carnival Plays

Einkehrstücke 

  • indoor, semi-private
  • takes the play to places --> never sure where and when

Marktstücke 

  • outdoor, often public
  • travelling stages
  • less risky than Einkehrstücke 

Reihenspiele

  • series of monologues
  • different social classes say who they are and relationships to central theme 

Handlungsspiele

  • plot-play
  • one person saying something has influence of something/someone else
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Examples

Der böß Rauch and Das heiß Eysen 

  • husband establishes need for justice 
  • making fun of wife, public spectacle 
  • tournament, contest
  • Xanthippe - sort of woman (bad) - stock woman of comedy 
  • duel - way of determining justice 
  • evil fume = metaphor for the woman 
  • insight into women in Medieval society - sexist
  • Freudian symbolism - rude play 
  • seriousness introduced near end 
  • takes on the emotional ambiguity

Both cases end up with morals - at the end brought back to reality 

Hans Sachs - a little bit of trust is a good thing 

Plays put audience in a difficult situation 

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