Goethe Proceedings - Katharina Mommsen

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					Goethe Proceedings
       Essays Commemorating
     the Goethe Sesquicentennial
at the University of California, Davis


                 Edited by
             Clifford A. Bernd
             Timothy J. Lulofs
            H. Giinther Nerjes
      Fritz R. Sammern-Frankenegg
               Peter Schaffer




         CAMDEN HOUSE
KATHARINA MOMMSEN

(;oethe As a Precursor of Women's
I ~lnancipation
                            (For Lilian R. Furst with admiration and affection)




M( )ST OF US WHO HAVE CONSIDERED the question of Goethe's attitude towards
WI ,men have recognized that he was decidedly sympathetic towards them. There

are, to be sure, many disparaging comments in the innumerable written and
~ poken statements by Goethe about women; however, they are always the
product of special circumstances and can be explained in this light. The generally
positive treatment of women in his life and work contravenes the criticism. His
literary work in particular testifies to an exaltation of women such as is hardly
l(llind in other writers of the period.
    Things look rather different, however, when one goes on to ask: did Goethe
~erve the cause of women, were they advanced in their fight for equality with
IlIl'n? The answer to this question is by no means so obvious. Early Goethe
rl'~earch hardly confronted such a question, since it was carried out largely by
Illen who were not interested in the question of women's emancipation. Today,
ill the context of sociological and feminist endeavors, the time has come to fill in
I hl'se lacunae by recognizing the surprising degree to which Goet~he in fact

;'llively advocated equality for women. There is a potential danger here: namely,
I hat, measured by modern standards, all that Goethe did appears far too meager,
('1' had little effect, and consequently can be overlooked. What Goethe did for the

democratizing process before the French Revolution does not count today,
cil her. That is how the image of a staunchly conservative Goethe came into
heing, an image which he contested throughout his life. I wish to suggest that,
perhaps as a result of our lack of historical perspective, Goethe has been branded
52                                GOETHE PROCEEDINGS                                                                                  Katharina Mommsen                                         53
as a typical conservative in regard to the question of women whereas in reality he
                                                                                                          To consider the vast topic of Goethe's advocacy of women who were looked
always demonstrated progressive thinking.
                                                                                                    d'lwn upon for various moral reasons-women from the lower classes, unwed
   I would like to begin by citing a pertinent passage from an autobiographical
                                                                                                    Illothers, actresses, prostitutes, and so on-would prevent us from doing justice
writing by Goethe, which in other respects too seems to me an appropriate point
                                                                                                    h('re to the second, and more complex, category. It is in fact easy enough to think
of departure for our topic. In an unfinished introduction to his Campagne in
                                                                                                    III fl:male characters from Goethe's novels, from his dramas, and from his ballads
Frankreich, Goethe discusses the historical conditions around 1770. He mentions
                                                                                                    who are representative of the morally despised. 2 It is harder to find those
the political ideals that inspired him and his contemporaries at that time and
                                                                                                    illStances where he stood up for the educated, intellectually gifted and active
refers, as he does in Dichtung und Wahrheit, to the first founders of democratic
                                                                                                    woman and took up the cudgels on her behalf. Yet he did so, and in his battle for
constitutions in Corsica and America, Paoli and Franklin. Within this frame-
                                                                                                    Ihis cause he was espousing ideals that can be considered farsighted even by our
work, he characterizes the relationship of the middle classes to the aristocracy
                                                                                                    «( Intemporary standards.
with the following words:
                                                                                                          Contempt for intellectual women in the Germany of Goethe's time was the
     The Germans were searching for something else, and a certain vague inclination, if             IImcome of a movement fashionable some hundred years earlier in France.
     not for something better, certainly for something different, gradually developed in            (;oethe himself cites Moliere's Femmes Savante.r (1672) as an antecedent and
     them. The Third Estate [the middle classes] improved progressively: the better                 I haracterizes in quite specific terms the forms of such contempt: "Learned
     noblemen, who had confidence in themselves, did not want to fall behind and joined             women had been made ridiculous, nor were well-informed women tolerated-
     with them; the others, who relied on their privileges, treated the Third Estate with           .'l'parently because it would have been uncivil to put so many ill-informed men to
     aversion, with contempt, especially women.'                                                    shame."3 These words are put into the mouth of the "Beautiful Soul" (JchCine
These words seem to me most revealing. They show beyond all doubt that                              ",, 'c/e) in Wilhelm Meister, She goes on to report her experiences in her
Goethe's attitude toward the issue of equality for women was not that of a                          Ielationship with her fiance: "Nor was there want of contradiction in our conduct
conservative. In the light of the democratization that had been in progress since                   III rl:gard to sciences and knowledge. He did as all men do-he mocked learned
his youth, he considered the equality of women to be self-evident. What he                          women; and yet he kept continually instructing me."4 In seventeenth-century
censures is the behavior of the conservatives. Women are treated with contempt                       I:rance, the activities of many prominent and indeed creative women prompted
by an aristocracy that insists upon its own privileges and that denies upward                       1!'l'lings of rivalry among men. Moliere's Femme.r SavanteJ and other comedies
mobility to commoners. Since the aristocracy represented the ruling class at this                   lI'corded this new phenomenon of intellectual life (just as in the fifth centuryB.C.
time, such backward attitudes toward women were difficult to combat. The                             A ristophanes' comedy had ridiculed the appearance of the new Socratic
opposition were those with the greatest power in this society, and they set a bad                    philosophy) by emphasizing the conservatives' die-hard resistance. The ridi-
example.                                                                                            (Iding of educated women in Germany, a hundred years after Moliere and shortly
   Goethe was in his seventies when he wrote this passage; in it he designated a                    ,liter the onset of similar attacks on the "Blue Stockings" in England, is a strong
phenomenon that had been apparent to him since his youth: "contempt for                             IIldication that such intellectually active and prominent women existed now in
women" was a problem that he was aware of throughout his life.                                      (;nmany too. Yet this was the very situation that men resisted with such
   But what did Goethe actually do to improve the position of women and to                          whemence. In Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre Goethe points with some humor to
promote their equality? The answer must surely be as follows: as a writer, Goethe                   v,(rious male countermoves. The educated woman was expected to keep her
tried again and again to counteract the contempt for women that was customary                       kllowledge "more secret than the Calvinist his creed in Catholic countries,"
at the time and that he regarded as unjust. Thus he became an advocate for                          ,ddlOugh occasionally a man "yielded to the vanity" of mentioning the
WOI11l:Il, at first out of natural inclination, later quite deliberately and in response            1111l'llectual merits of his partneL S In actual fact, men did not at all want women
to t hl: opposition of certain of his contemporaries.                                               III hl' educated and did their utmost to hinder them wherever possible. In the
   III (;oetilt''s works, two types of women are clearly discernible, both of whom                  'l'Vl'lIt h book of the Lehrjahre, Goethe gives an example of a gathering of
were disdOlilll'li alld whose cause he advocated. First, there is the woman who is                  l.hlies - aristocrats, it should be noted-who "were speaking, in the common
despised (1I11ll()(,0I1 ,l.:roullds, rejeered by 01 bOickwOlrd sociery OIS a result of prejudices   '''yl(', about the cultivation of the female mind." Let me quote the passage: "Our
rooted ill class affiliatiolls or traditiollal cOllcepts of respectability. Secolldly,              ' ( ' X, I hey sa id, was treated unjustly: men insisted on retaining for themselves

thn(' is tht' WIlIllOiIl whll is sCllrlled lor hn ('dll(,;lt iOIlOiI level, whose ClpOicity lor     I'very Iype of higher educatioll; rhl:y admittl:d us to no science, they required us
illtellntll;d t'qllality widl 111('11 is disputed ,                                                 "1111('1' I0 he dolls or la III iIy d rlldges. "" Ilcre we ha ve the hea rt of rhe problem, and
                                                                                                                         " llfhlrilld MIJlllfflJL'rt                               "',.)
                              (;()I;'I'III' PROCEEDINGS


it is thc same Ihal arollses lIlany women to strong protest even today. ("Dolls"        Klcrtenberg's judgment than of anyone e1sc's. (ioethe explains Ihis 1I1111Sliiti fl\( f
denotes the same as loday"s pejorative "sex object.") Goethe unequivocally sided        in Dichtung und Wahrheit in a general way by reference to her gifl oj "si,l(llf ." I k
with women in Ih<:ir elldeavors for liberation from this state of subjugation. For      says: "She could almost always point out the right way, because she look('d III'0n
him, it was an acceprcd fact that a woman did not necessarily have to be only a         the labyrinth from above and was not herself entangled in ir.""
housekeeper and plaything. Intellectual women did now exist, and they could                 After so much contact with educated women during his early yea rs, (jOt'l h('
well bccome promoters of education and culture, with equal rights, including the        seems to have been convinced that it was part of his vocation as a writer to raist·
right to compete with men. This is the conviction that inspired Goethe's life-          the social status of women. From a consideration of his entire creative corpus, we
long opposition to the prevalent contempt for women.                                    find a pattern that emerges: Goethe's basic endeavor is to represent the
    C;oethe's detachment from the customary conventions of conservative male            difference between the sexes as being not one of rank. Again andagain, he has
thinking undoubtedly stems from the impressions of his early years. To begin            men and women confront each other as equals. There is almost no sphere of
with, his mother was intellectually endowed, so much so that it was to her, not to      activity from which women are excluded. Such advocacy of women, and especially
his father, that he ascribed his creative talent. His sister Cornelia had so much       educated women, is the implicit motivation for a series of recurrenr features in
talent and education that the young Goethe regarded and treated her as a truly          his works. Goethe seizes every opportunity to portray women with striking and
equal partner in discussions. His exchange of ideas with her was most necessary         outstanding talent in all possible fields. To Goethe, the role of lover, housewife.
and fruitful for his development and his creativity: it was at Cornelia's insistence,   and mother is not women's only role, as it is in so many writings of that time.
 for instance, that he wrote his first great work, Gotz von Berlichingen. (No man       (joethe presents excellent examples of professional women, such as Theresc. the
ever encouraged him in like manner. Herder and Merck, for example, disturbed            agricultural expert in the Lehrjahre, and Susanne, the businesswoman in
Goethe's productivity, as did Schiller later: from them he had to conceal many           Wilhelm Meisters Wanderjahre.
 literary endeavors out of self-protection.) During his days as a student in Leipzig,       In most of Goethe's more extensive works, the juxtaposition of female and
 it was the wife of a professor, Madame B6hme, from whom Goethe apparently               male figures poses the question of which characteristics will prevail: laklll and
 received more intellectual stimulation than from his professors.                       strength of character, or skill and strength of body. Quite often when I hert' is
    There was, however, another relationship that was absolutely decisive in            competition, the women prove even superior to the men.
 shaping Goet.he's attitude toward women: his friendship with Susanne von                   Goethe often portrays intellectually distinguished women as advisors ((I
 Klettenberg, which began when he was nineteen. It was this woman in her mid-            important men; Makarie and Natalie are examples. He also portrays WOI1l('1I
 forties who most strongly influenced Goethe's intellectual development at a time        who demonstrate fortitude and courage, such as the heroine in /-/cntl lmrt IIl1d
 when his young mind was in greatest need of guidance. The full significance of          Dorothea or the heroic Johanna Sebus in the ballad of the same name. H(' show.        ,
 this relationship for Goethe cannot be appreciated if an inquiry into von               Ihat so-called "masculine" characteristics also suit women well at limes alld do
 Klettenberg's influence is confined to the religious sphere, as is usually the case.    not make them less attractive; here again the example of Natalie, as wdl ;IS
 Goethe's interest in Pietism, which had brought them together, soon waned. But          1~lIgenie and other characters, comes to mind.
 their friendship endured. What endured, above all, was his immense respect for             finally, as early as Gotz von Berlichingen (1773), Goethe portrays WOIlIt'11
 this highly gifted, independent woman, who, through her talent and extensive            who are actually superior to their male counterparts. The supposed 11lod('1 oj
 education in her own field, successfully competed with men. Goethe mentions             lIlanhood, Weislingen, is reputed to be the "quintessence of the lTlak sex," as
 von Moser (Philo in Bekenntnisse einer schonen Seele), Zinzendorf, Lavater,             Adelheid, the expert judge of men, scornfully says. But it is Adelheid- herseJj a
 and Hamann as examples of well-known men among whom von Klettenberg                     figure of imposing talenrs-who becomes a defender of women whell sh('
 enjoyed high esteem; 7 he also mentions that "a great many of the princes, counts,     ('xposes Weislingen's weakness :
 and lords of the empire" sought her company.s Goethe's high regard for this
                                                                                           Blame ir on women! . .. Bur ler me rell you somerhing abour men. Who arc YOIl 10 lalk
 woman is most apparent in his choice of her over men as a trusted advisor in
                                                                                           ahour fickleness? You who are ra rely whar you claim ro be and never whal YOIi ollghl
  many personal matters. Thus for example, already famous at twenty-six as the             '" he.")
 author of Gotz and Werther, Goethe sought the advice of Fraulein von
  Klettenberg, and not that of his many important male friends, when he was             There are interesting configurations in h'f.;rttont, too, in which rhe Illeril of ill('
 confronted with the most difficult question of his life: whether to decide for or      WOlllt'n equals or even exceeds that of the men. M a rgarel he von i'a rIll a has a II I h('
  against service at the Court of Weimar. He had a higher opinion of von                \falesmanlike abilities of a man and is rcspc('[ed for thaI reasoll . (jo('lht· sh()ws
56                                  GOETHE PROCEEDINGS                                                                                             Katharina Mammsen

her in conversation with a professional statesman as an equal partner, and he                          strength; for the sake of her convictions, she would have been prepared t() gIV( '
deliberately gives this statesman the name of the famous Florentine statesman                          up all claim to any happiness and even to seek her living in a foreign COUllt ry . It "
and historian Machiavelli. Goethe then undertakes one of his boldest attempts to                       in this context that a truly remarkable statement appears, namely, that ~Iu '
raise the respect for women: the scene in which KHirchen wants to lead the                             "would have refused a kingdom" with the suitor, if her loyalty to her conv in i()ll~
people to fight for liberation, and all the men, without exception, are cowards                        were at stake. 12 Notice how this sentence contains in brief the thcllle t h,11
and refuse to take up arms. "And I have no weapons like you, no mettle," she cries                     underlies the entire first act of Iphigenie: a kingdom is rejected with the III a rriagl'
to the men, "but I do have what all of you lack: courage and scorn of danger."ll It                    proposal. This theme is an addition made by Goethe to the story; there is nothillg
was just such unusual courage and fortitude that Goethe had admired in Susanne                         like it in Euripides. According to his own statement, Goethe had been workillg OIl
von Klettenberg, a woman who was physically quite frail. She had demonstrated                          Iphigenie since 1776; it is thus justifiable to conclude that this druma was
that courage repeatedly in those situations characteristic of her life when she met                    conceived shortly after Susanne von Klettenberg's death. The possibility GllIl)(lt
prominent experts in various fields and engaged in discussions with them as                            be ruled out that the respected friend and advisor of Goethe's youth was thl'
inter pares.                                                                                           model for the figure of the Greek priestess, more perhaps than the WOIll ,lll
   What is distinctive and unusual about Margarethe von Parma and KHirchen                             always mentioned in the commentaries, Charlotte von Stein.
turns out in fact to be features that Goethe had seen in Susanne von Klettenberg.                         The emphasis I am placing of her refusal of marriage proposals as an illdex ()f
This provides a basis for new interpretative possibilities. The first ideas for                        von Klettenberg's courage is not arbitrary. In Bekenntni.r.re einer schri'ncli Sl '('/",
Egmant date from a few days after von Klettenberg's death. Insofar as this play                        Goethe himself subtly but repeatedly suggests that this trait impressed hilll
inaugurated Goethe's campaign against contempt for women, it was perhaps                               beyond all others. Von Klettenberg's own description of this aspect of hn Iif!', as
intended as a first secret token of esteem for his deceased friend. Twenty years                       Goethe presents it, is characterized by a certain modesty; nevertheless , it
later, in Bekenntnisse einer schO'nen Seele, Goethe offered the famous official                        becomes abundantly clear that her rejections of suitors were a test of her (I IU r,lg('
tribute, in which he emphatically underlined the daring and independence of the                        "Gedacht-gewagt!" ("No sooner thought than tried")-these ar(' the W()ld .                  s
women in Egmant as particular traits of Susanne von Klettenberg.                                       with which she begins her story l3 Then she speaks of her "strengt h," ()f till'
   Goethe's next drama after Egmant, Iphigenie, is the first of his works in which                     "masculine defiance" that made her demand complete freedom of act iOIl \1('( ,IIIS( '
a woman consistently confronts men not as their equal but as their superior.                           her "doings and avoidings must depend on [her] own conviction." Shl' IIl1lsl "Ill'
Iphigenie's superiority is also based on her intellectual ability. As advisor to a                     liable to no manner of constraint." With the explanation that her "stl'l'llgl h"
despot, Iphigenie promotes liberal and humane measures, in much the same way                           depends on this right, she makes manifest the parallel with Iphif,Clli(', ( 101 i11 II IIg
that progressive statesmen in the years before the French Revolution had                               she would even embrace poverty as an emigrant or reject a kingdolll Ih,lI ,I'll illli
attempted to transform the tyrannical form of government in power at that time                         offered her rather than sacrifice her loyalty to her conv ictions. Shl' gO(" ()II to
into an enlightened despotism. Iphigenie plays a political role at court                               relate, "My story had been noised abroad, and many persons felt ,I (1IIio~il y II I '01 ' ( '
comparable with that of Margarethe von Parma, only more successfully. In                               the woman who had valued God above her bridegroom." 11
competition with men, she stands out particularly in one characteristic that                              Goethe puts the ultimate evaluation of her into the mouth of till' 111111(' III
recalls Klarchen in Egmant: her "scorn of danger." In Iphigenie's exceptional                           Wilhelm MeiJ'ter. In this man, the Beautiful Soul finds the only pns()11 SI'I)(,IIIII
daring, striking similarities surface with the kind of courage displayed by                            to her in intellect and education; he is a kind of self-portrait ()f (;Ol'tlu' III Ill S
Susanne von Klettenberg. For instance, Iphigenie repeatedly receives offers of                         mature years. In a long eulogy, the uncle summarizes what strikes hilll ,I S of
marriage from a king. She rejects these offers on the ground that they are                             highest merit in the Beautiful Soul's thought and actiolls. This is whl'l't' I he
incompatible with her "consecrated life" (V. 439). The gods do not sanction such                       categorical assertion occurs that her primary achievement lay in the d"lillg widl
marriages, and they have also given her "the firmness not to enter into this                           which she refused every marriage proposal for the sake of her ('OlIvi(t i()llS . Ill'll'
alliance" (V. 490-491). With her courageous refusal, Iphigenie risks the lives of                      is the passage that forms the climax of the uncle's speech:
the Greek prisoners: the enraged King now demands their sacrifice. Goethe's
                                                                                                          If you, my friend, whose highest want it was to perfcn alld IIllfold your Illoralll""I" ',
von Klettenherg, in BekenntniJ'J'e, refuses her fiance's offers of marriage, despite
                                                                                                          had , instead of those bold and noble sanifin's, merely I rilllnll'd h('1 W('('11 yt >III .11111( ' 0
 their promise of a splendid life, and luter declines ocher "respectahle pro-
                                                                                                          to yourself and to your falllily, your bricicgroolll, or pcrhaps YOllr IIIISil;llltI , ytlllllll l\ 1
 posals . . . witho1lt tlIt' sillallt'st hesitatioll," becausc marriage would dcm,lnd a                   lIav(' liv('d ill UII\SI;IIII rOlllradi r litll1 wilh ytllil' f..l'iillgs, ;llIti II( ' V('\' 11,1.1 ,I I'(· ,ltl'lill
challge ill h('l' I ()lIvil t iOlls . Sill' says t hat "till' .IccI' feel iIIg of hn right" gave her      1l1tl1lH'III , I"I
58                                                GOETHE PROCEEDINGS                                                                                                  Katharina Mommsen                                            ') ()


The words "bold and noble sacrifice" hold the key to Bekenntnisse einer schonen                                                     has an "innate right" to a show of daring in "unheard-of feats." With the words,
Seele. For Goethe the greatest human virtue lay in the courage for unusual                                                          "Back and forth/ In my heart ebbs a daring enterprise," she proceeds to her
sacrifice, when the aim was to bring thought and action into consonance. From                                                       announcement to the King. The phrase "a daring enterprise" recalls the formula
the example of Susanne von Klettenberg, he had learned that nature gives not                                                        of the "daring sacrifices" in Bekenntnisse einer schijnen Seele.
only men, but also women, courage and the readiness for sacrifice. That is why he                                                      The great moral accomplishment of Iphigenie's "daring enterprise" lends
so emphatically underscores this trait in Bekenntnisse einer schonen Seele. This                                                    itself to astonishingly appropriate paraphrase in the words from Bekenntnisse
also explains why courage is the outstanding character trait in the first great                                                     einer schonen Seele. Shortly before he extols her "daring sacrifices" in his
female figures that he created after the death of his friend, courage that allows                                                   summary, the uncle says of Susanne von Klettenberg:
them to compete with men.
                                                                                                                                      Man's highest merit always is, as much as possible, to rule external circumstances,
   In the very first act of Iphigenie, when the heroine courageously refuses the
                                                                                                                                      and as little as possible to let himself be ruled by them .... You, my dear niece ... have
King's marriage proposal, she speaks her famous lines about the disadvantaged
                                                                                                                                      striven to bring your moral being, your earnest, lovely nature, into accordance with
position of women-about what today would be termed the "pressures" to which                                                           itself and with the HighestY
women are subjected. The well-known lines of the opening monologue describe
the "piteous" lot of women and the sovereign authority of the harsh husband                                                         In complying only with the demands of "the Highest," Iphigenie asserts her
whom they must obey. With the words, "Do not find fault, 0 King, with our poor                                                      independence of existing conditions and her determination to change them.
sex," Iphigenie challenges contempt for women. Such strong words do not                                                             Iphigenie could take the easy way out; instead, she establishes the conditions
appear in this context by accident; just when she is demonstrating her                                                              through her courage-that courage to which the uncle's words about the
"masculine" courage, Iphigenie is also intensely aware of the rivalry between the                                                   Beautiful Soul are also applicable:
sexes.
                                                                                                                                      . ... but deep within us lies the creative force, which out of these can produce what
   In Act V, Goethe has Iphigenie prove her courage a second time, in far more                                                        they were meant to be, and which leaves us neither sleep nor rest, till, in one way or
dangerous circumstances. I am referring to the scene in which she reveals to the                                                      another, without us or on us, those same have been produced. IS
King the escape plan that has been devised behind his back. Iphigenie's boldness
appears here without the slightest concealment. The announcement with which                                                             For the rest of Goethe's life, he grew increasingly vocal in his battle for the
she quite consciously risks her brother's and friend's lives, as well as her own,                                                   equality of women. In his new friend Schiller, Goethe faced a typical
comes in a speech that is comparable in length and significance to the famous                                                       representative of extreme male chauvinism. Simply stated, Schiller wanted to
opening monologue. There is a further similarity to the monologue in that                                                           restrict the role of women to the domestic sphere. For a woman to give evidence
Iphigenie here again broaches the topic of the relationship of rights and                                                           ()f talent, courage, or intellectual prowess denoted for him a source of concern for
privileges between men and women. And it is done with so pronounced an                                                              men. Goethe had become aware of this bias early on. In Schiller's detailed
emphasis that it warrants the contention that hardly any writer of that time                                                        discussions of Egmont and Iphigenie, the traits by which the heroines distinguish
expressed himself more sharply as far as women's emancipation was concerned.                                                        Ihemselves with masculine daring are not mentioned at all. For example,
The underlying assertion is that even in tests of heroic courage, women can equal                                                   Iphigenie's plea on behalf of oppressed women is not granted any mention.
men. After a long pause for reflection, Iphigenie begins her speech with these                                                      Schiller simply could not bear to see women depicted in this way; prejudice made
words:                                                                                                                              him blind.
                                                                                                                                        When Goethe began his friendship with Schiller in 1794, he had to overlook
                     Do men alone, then, have the right to do                                                                       «('I"tain issues, one of which was the ill feeling generated by Schiller's critiques of
                     {J nheard-of   feats? Can only men clasp things                                                                 //gwont and lphigenie. For some time, the question of women seems to have
                     Impossible to their heroic bosoms?                                                                             heen avoided by both of them with the same delicacy with which they sidestepped
                     Wlwi is lerrncd great? What lifts to awe the soul . . .                                                        III her differences of opinion. However, soon enough, Goethe found himself
                     Hxn'pl whal hravest men began with chances                                                                     ('x posed to direct attack. Schiller accepted for publication in Die Horen the
                     1I1lIik(·ly of SlIlH'SS? 1(,                                                                                   I real isc by his friend Wilhelm von Humboldt, Oherden G"eJchlechtJunterJchied,
                                                                                                                                    ill which the roles of men and women were defined wholly in the one-sided terllls
Iphi~('lli(' ti( ' S(        )"ihC's IWI) IYl'i(oil I'XolIlIl'll'S of lIIasndilll' darill.L: ill dall.L: erolis                     wilich Schiller envisaged for them. (;oethe could not remain indifft.I"l'1l1 10 Ihe
S iliia I illll.
               s   III   W Ill"                                                    l
                                ill It I!,('OI( ('11('/11)"(' shl' gOl'S Oil ICI d oiIII rllal (' V('II ",I.(I'IIr1l' WClIlI:IIl"   ,Ip!,earallce of this trealist' which sl:t'lllcd !O hc a rdlilation of evcrylhill,L( hI'
58                                   (;( WI'! II; PROCEEDINGS                                                                                   Katharina Momm.ren

The words "b(lld ;111<111( lhl(' salTifiCl. " hold the key to Bekenntnisse einer schonen                      kls an "innate right" to a show of daring in "unheard-of feats." With the words,
Seele. For (;oet h(' t he greatest human virtue lay in the courage for unusual                                "Back and forth/ In my heart ebbs a daring enterprise," she procu:tis to hn
sacrifice, when the aim was to bring thought and action into consonance. From                                 announcement to the King. The phrase "a daring enterprise" recalls the formula
the example of Susallllc von Klerrenberg, he had learned that nature gives not                                ()f the "daring sacrifices" in Bekenntnisse einer schonen Seele.
only men, but also women, courage and the readiness for sacrifice. That is why he                                The great moral accomplishment of Iphigenie's "daring enterprise" lends
so emphatically underscores this trait in Bekenntnisse einer schonen Seele. This                              itself to astonishingly appropriate paraphrase in the words from BekenntniJJe
also explains why courage is the outstanding character trait in the first great                               ciner schonen Seele. Shortly before he extols her "daring sacrifices" in his
female figures that he created after the death of his friend, courage that allows                             summary, the uncle says of Susanne von Klerrenberg:
them to compete with men.
                                                                                                                Man's highest merit always is, as much as possible, to rule external circumstances,
   I n the very first act of Iphigenie, when the heroine courageously refuses the
                                                                                                                and as little as possible to let himself be ruled by them .... You, my dear niece ... have
King's marriage proposal, she speaks her famous lines about the disadvantaged                                   striven to bring your moral being, your earnest, lovely nature, into accordance with
position of women-about what today would be termed the "pressures" to which                                     itself and with the HighestY
women are subjected, The well-known lines of the opening monologue describe
the "piteous" lot of women and the sovereign authority of the harsh husband                                   In complying only with the demands of "the Highest," Iphigenie asserts her
whom they must obey, With the words, "Do not find fault, 0 King, with our poor                                iIldependence of existing conditions and her determination to change them,
sex," Iphigenie challenges contempt for women. Such strong words do not                                       Iphigenie could take the easy way out; instead, she establishes the conditions
appear in this context by accident; just when she is demonstrating her                                        Ih rough her courage-that courage to which the uncle's words about the
"masculine" courage, Iphigenie is also intensely aware of the rivalry between the                             Beautiful Soul are also applicable:
sexes.                                                                                                          . ... but deep within us lies the creative force, which out of these can produce what
   In Act V, Goethe has Iphigenie prove her courage a second time, in far more                                  they were meant to be, and which leaves us neither sleep nor rest, till, in one way or
dangerous circumstances. I am referring to the scene in which she reveals to the                                another, without us or on us, those same have been produced. IS
King the escape plan that has been devised behind his back. Iphigenie's boldness
appears here without the slightest concealment. The announcement with which                                         For the rest of Goethe's life, he grew increasingly vocal in his battle for the
she quite consciously risks her brother's and friend's lives, as well as her own,                             (,(IUality of women. In his new friend Schiller, Goethe faced a typical
                                                                                                               representative of extreme male chauvinism. Simply stated, Schiller wanted to
comes in a speech that is comparable in length and significance to the famous
                                                                                                               r(,strict the role of women to the domestic sphere. For a woman to give evidence
opening monologue. There is a further similarity to the monologue in that
Iphigenie here again broaches the topic of the relationship of rights and                                     I,f talent, courage, or intellectual prowess denoted for him a source of concern for
privileges between men and women. And it is done with so pronounced an                                        men. Goethe had become aware of this bias early on. In Schiller's detailed
emphasis that it warrants the contention that hardly any writer of that time                                  discussions of Egmont and Iphigenie, the traits by which the heroines distinguish
expressed himself more sharply as far as women's emancipation was concerned.                                  Ihemselves with masculine daring are not mentioned at all. For example,
The underlying assertion is that even in tests of heroic courage, women can equal                             Iph igenie' s plea on behalf of oppressed women is not granted any mention.
men. After a long pause for reflection, Iphigenie begins her speech with these                                Schiller simply could not bear to see women depicted in this way; prejudice made
                                                                                                              Ilim blind.
words:
                                                                                                                    When Goethe began his friendship with Schiller in 1794, he had to overlook
               Do men alone, then, have the right to do                                                       1ntain issues, one of which was the ill feeling generated by Schiller's critiques of
                                                                                                              1:',1: lIIont and Iphif!.enie. For some time, the question of women seems to have
               Unheard-of feats? Can only men clasp things
               Impossible to their heroic bosoms?                                                             1)(,(,1l a voided by both of them with the same delicacy with which they sidestepped
               What is termed great? What lifts to awe the soul ...                                           III her differences of opinion. However, soon enough, Goethe found himself
               I':x(('pl whal hravest men hegan with chances                                                  ('xp()sed to direct attack. Schiller accepted for publication in Die Horen the
               I ildik('ly ()f SUl(l'SS) I',                                                                  I r('al isc by his friend Wilhelm von Humboldt, Oberden GeJchlechtJuntenchied,
                                                                                                              III wllich t he roles of men and W(lITIen were defined wholly in the one-sided terms
1I'IIig('III(' d('~, lilH'~ IW() IYl'il;t/ ('X;IIIIJ'lcs of 1ll.lsllt/ill(' d;lrillg ill dallgl'l"ous         which Schiller cnvisaged for rhem. (;octhc could nor remain indiffercllt to rhc
,iIILII"'II' 1>1 W,II ,111,1"(',11 (,1)('11,1'(' ,lit' ~:"(" 111111'1 Llillllll,ll ('v(,II"g('lllk wOlllan"   ''1 'I'l'''r;llItl' (If Ihis Irl'''list' which scclllcd to he " refut"tioll of t'vnylhillg he
60                             GOETHE PROCEEDINGS                                                                            Katharina Mommsen

himself had done for women in his writings . Hardly had he seen Humboldt's text             nowadays, the poem prescribes that women not think, not know anything, not
in manuscript form than he began writing Bekenntnisse einer schonen Seele, the              write poetry; all this is reserved for men. Schiller's poem constituted an opell
sixth book of Wilhelm Meister. "Seized by a strange instinct," he wrote to                  affront to Goethe. For Susanne von Klettenberg possessed a scholarly education
Schiller, he suddenly had the desire "to write the religious book of [his] novel."19        and a fine mind; moreover, she had been writing poetry since her youth. These
By means of the example of Susanne von Klettenberg, he now proposed to show                 characteristics are all shared by the Beautiful Soul. But Goethe had also recently
that a woman actually existed who could be a match for men in strength of                   introduced women as poets in works with which Schiller was familiar: Mignon,
character, intellect and daring. Here Goethe sought and found the opportunity to            and especially the beautiful Lilie, in the "Marchen" in Unterhaltungen deutscher
bring to light what was outmoded in the current contempt for the femme                      Ausgewanderten. Schiller's "Honor to Women" could not influence Goethe.
savante. At the same time, this gave him the opportunity to provide a gloss on              Women poets continued to appear in his works-for example in Die natiirliche
the characters of his female figures in Egmont and Iphigenie, who had been                  Tochter, during Schiller's lifetime. Later Goethe has Suleika triumph as a poet in
misunderstood even by Schiller. Another factor, too, contributed to turning the             West-ostlicher Divan and has Helena compete with Faust as a poet in Faust II.
scale. The life story of a Pietist was particularly well suited to serve as a polemic          Goethe again exalted the type of the educated woman in Makarie. And how
against male chauvinism. Pietism in Germany had sanctioned for the first time               "unfeminine" is the special field that Makarie commands-mathematics!
the display of a certain degree of emancipation on the part of a good many                  Makarie is in every point an intensification of the Beautiful Soul. One trait in
women. This sprang from the belief that women, on account of their emotional                particular she shares with Susanne von Klettenberg: she is the gifted advisor to
make-up, were capable of stronger religious experiences than men; they were                 even the most demanding men and, as such, a kind of highest authority.
therefore occasionally revered more than men in Pietistic circles. 20                          Schiller's antagonism to Bekenntnisse einer schonen Seele continued for some
    When his biography of a Pietist was published in 1795, Goethe must have                 time. In the Xenien, which were composed in cooperation with Goethe, he again
expected that even his choice of subject matter would be taken to indicate a                treats the problem of the man-woman relationship in keeping with the model
deliberately sympathetic attitude toward women. His contemporaries would still              established in Humboldt's theory of the sexes. Numerous lines express the
have been aware of the remarkable qualities of the Pietist women, although these            opinion that the activity of women should be restricted to the domestic sphere. II
qualities later were ignored, even by cultural historians and Germanists. Goethe's          The intellectual woman is obdurately and categorically rejected; she lucks
expectations were disappointed, however. Even then, readers were inclined to                feminine beauty. (Goethe's Beautiful Soul, on the other hand, had been portrayed
notice only the religious element in the Beautiful Soul, and this was rejected as           as attractive and desirable.) Schiller entitled two of his Xenien about women
"Pietist fanaticism." The fact that Goethe was presenting a woman of great                  "Beautiful Soul" in an explicit attempt to instruct Goethe: a beautiful soul,
intellect and noble character went unnoticed. For men, the Beautiful Soul was               correctly understood, has no choice whatsoever in her actions; everYlhin~
only a woman who had refused to marry and who did not acquiesce in the                      devolves "necessarily" from her "harmonious nature."23 We suw how ill
 traditional female role. Up to the present day this point of view has been                 Bekenntnisse einer schonen Seele Goethe praises the determination und wura~{'
constantly maintained; since Goethe, no one has written a biography of a Pietist            to give up the traditional course of life for the possibility of a more fulfillill~ OIlC'.
 woman.                                                                                     In Goethe's view this departure from tradition is a conscious one, not merely a
    Schiller and Humboldt also viewed Bekenntnisse einer schonen Seele with                 matter of obeying one's "nature." But this cardinal point in Goethe's literary
disapproval. In a letter to Schiller which Goethe saw, Humboldt describes the               exaltation of women was so unacceptable to Schiller that he tried to resist ii, l'Vl'll
 Beautiful Soul as an "awkward figure " and a "repugnant skeleton." 21Schiller was          if only with the contention that Goethe's treatment violated the wlKept (If
 sufficiently astute to realize that Goethe was here launching a programmatic               "beauty."
 attack on the contempt of the femme savante. He reacted immediately. Directly                 Goethe would not let himself be diverted by such theorizing on the part of
 llPon readin~ llekenntni.r.re, he wrote his great programmatic poem "Honor to              Schiller and Humboldt. He remained friends with Schiller but continued as a
 Women" ("Wii rde der Frauen") -o n Goethe's birthday, let it be noted. Schiller's          writer to create women who were assertive and nevertheless made happy
 poelll, which was immediately reco~nized by the liberal intellectuals as hostile to        marriages, such as Therese in the Lehrjahre and Dorothea in Hermann lind
 womell's l'lllanCipalioll, reiterates Humboldt's theory of the sexes, according to          Dorothea. He had the tomboy Mignon continue to write poetry, evell somt'
 whirh WOllll'll shollid always be as passive as possible and Illen should be               verses with a certain suggestiveness: "und jene himmlischen (;estaltt'll/ SiC'
 eXlrt'IllC'ly iI},u~ressive . The ollly Iype of woman Ihat Schiller vailles is the         fragen nicht nach Mann lind Weib" (" In heavenly realms, the all~t'l choir/ Sl'l'k
 h()ll.~l'wi"(", a 11IixllIrC' of "child" and "all~t'I." Hard tllOlI,L:h il is to believe    not to know of man or maid") H
 62                                     (iOETHE PROCEEDINGS
                                                                                                                                                         Katharina MommJen
   Developments In the intellectual circle of which Goethe was a part soon
                                                                                                                                                                                         s
                                                                                                                 capable of development than men. In this context, Goeth<: makes his 1I10. l
 brought matters to a head . Caroline Schlegel, the foremost figure of emanci-
                                                                                                                 important statement on the question of women. We read :
 pation in Germany at the time, was the intellectual paragon of the early
 romantics; by her example, she had planted among them the idea of                                                  In my o pinion, it is a much more difficult task to become a perfect m an thall a I'l"rin I
emancipation. They now undertook a campaign against the antagonism toward                                           woman. The phrase "He shall be thy master" is a formul a characteristi( of a
 women's emancipation expressed in Schiller's poems and Humboldt's theory of                                        barbarous age long since passed away. Men cannot claim a right to become educatl"d
 the sexes. Friedrich Schlegel, whose views had largely been shaped by Caroline,                                    and refined without conceding the same privilege to women. As long as the process
defended the intellectual woman; he advocated that women should engage in                                           continues, the balance is even be tween them; but, as women are more capable of
                                                                                                                    improvement than men, experience shows that the scale soon turns in their favor ."
everything that Schiller wanted to reserve for men: scholarship, philosophy,
poetry. Women would benefit, he claimed, if they showed independence, as                                            With these words of the fifty-year-old Goethe I would like to close. They reveal
would men if they exhibited gentleness.                                                                          Ihe convictions that made him an advocate for women. Anyone who states as
   The controversy between Schlegel and Schiller was further sharpened when                                      decisively as Goethe does here that the role of women can no longer be
Schiller published his Xenien on women, which he had recast into epigrammatic                                    determined according to the Book of Genesis is certainly not a conservativ<: as
poems. Under the title "Macht des Weibes," Schiller now put forward the thesis                                   far as the women's question is concerned; he stands in the forefront of those who
that a woman should exert her power through charm, not through the                                               have fought for emancipation. 28
forcefulness of her mind; what is more, he again maintained that women whose
power stemmed from the forcefulness of their minds lacked beauty. Such
contentions merely aroused loud laughter among the early romantics. For in                                                                                       NOTES
their circle in Jena, just a few streets away from Schiller, a woman, Caroline, did
exert power, and she by no means lacked beauty.
                                                                                                                      I. "Die Deutschen suchten etwas anderes, und ein gewisser unbestimmter Sinn, wo
   The controversy between Schiller and Friedrich Schlegel had an important                                      lIicht zu etwas Besserem, doch zu etwas Anderem entwickelte sich nach und nach in ihnen.
consequence: it drove Goethe too into taking a stand on the question of women.                                   I >tor dritte Stand bildete sich fortschreitend aus, der bessere Adel, der sich etwas ZlilraUle,
In a collection of stories entitled Die guten Weiber, Goethe seized the                                          wollte nicht zurlickbleiben und teat mit ihm in Verbindung. Der andere, der auf seine
opportunity to come forward as mediator between Schiller and Schlegel. In that                                   (ierechtsame pochte, behandelte den dritten Stand mit Abneigung, mil Verachlllfl}-:
work he takes up the question of whether and how a woman can playa dominant                                      ksonders die Frauen." Volume XXXIII, p . 377 of Goethes Werke (Weimar, IHH7 - 1<J IH) .
role in human affairs. In contradiction to Schiller, he maintains that it is not grace                           Suhsequent references to Goethe's works will cite this edition, as designated by W.
alone that qualifies a woman to rule; there are other factors. As Goethe                                         followed by volume and page numbers; book numbers are also cited where appropriat(',
enumerates:                                                                                                      f<If readers using different editions.
                                                                                                                     2. Examples include the unwed mother in the poem "Vor Gericht," (;re(cht'li ill 1',1/11/.
   Active women, who are given to habits of acquisition and saving, are invariably                               Kliirchen in Egmont, the actress Philine in Wilhelm Meister, the Bajadert' ill Ilrt' 1>;1IIa"
   mistresses at home; pretty women, at once graceful and superficial, rule in large                             " I kr Gott und die Bajadere," etc.
   societies; whilst those who possess more sound accomplishments exert their                                         ). "Man hatte die gelehrten Weiber Hicherlich gemacht, und man wollll" aUl'h di('
   influence in smaller circles.2 ~                                                                              IllIterrichteten nicht leiden, wahrscheinlich weil man flir unhiiflieh hiell, Sll vic!
                                                                                                                 ullwi sse nJe Manner beschamen zu lasse n." Wilhel m M eiJ/ er.f /." j,rj,,jm·. I>IKlk (, l it..
With thi s tenet, that the more deeply educated woman rules the smaller circles,
                                                                                                                 X X II , p. 272) .
(;oeth<: gives the intellectual woman the most significant task. Fo r it is the                                      .j . "Ober Wissenschaften und Kenntnisse ging es auch nicht ohne Widerspru(h ah ; ('I'
"smaller circles" that matter; it is in the intellectual circles that the mind is                                11I;ldlle cs wie aile Manner, spottete liber gelehrte Frauen lind bildete ull"ufhiirlil'h "II
cull ivalnl.                                                                                                     IIli, " ( W XXII, p. 2H'i).
    III Pi, ' p "I"1I W,·ilwr. (;oethe do<:s dispute Schlegel's claim that men would                                 ~ . "Indem er mir Schriften von allt'flci Art besl~indig wbrachte, wiederholt(' ('I' III I dil"
IWlldil if IiI('Y exilihilcd "femininc" t)ualiri<:s. But h<: concurs with Schlegel in                            Ill'd(,llklichc Lehrc: d"g cin Frauenzimmer seill Wisst'll heimlidwr h"ht'll miissl", "Is d('l'
/'('~ard III WIIII\('11 (;II('1i1(' ('xplaills, " whell a WOlllall takcs a fin a man , sh<: gains;               ( .dvillis( seincn (ilaubell im katholisdlt'll Lalldc; ulld illdelll il'h wirklidl auf ('ill(, }-:.1111
IIII', il \11(' ('all illl!,rllv(' 11('1' IIWII !,('culiar lJualilics hy lilt' addilioll of 1ll;lsnrlille        1I.lIiirlil'he Wt'ist' vor dcr Well mil'h niehl klii}-:er und ulltl",ridllt'll"r als Sill lSI 1.11 1  .(·ig(,11
('ll('rgy, sll(' IW(IIII1I'. 0111 ,lilllllSI !,('rJl'(( Iwillg ... ··,· l:xp('ril'lll'l' shllws, (;oerile
                              S                                                                                  "fll'gll' , w;lr l'I' dn ('rstt', del' }-:l"le}-:t'llIlil'h dn hlelkcil lIidli widlTSI('hl"lI kllIUIiI'. Villi
(1II1IiIlIWS , 1il,II il i, 1'1'('( i. dy ill iiII' (1I111( 'IIIJ",rary Wlldd lilal WIIIII( '11 an' II III/'('
                                     s                                                                           IIWi.IIt·1I Vorzii}-:t'li zu sl'rl"dll'll ." Ihid .
                                                             ,
                                   (,( )1.'1'111 ', I'I(()( 1: I'.I)lNI;S


   (), "Mall sei 1I11~"r<',h( ~e~l'1I III1Ser (;esehkcht, hie/I es, die Manner wollten aile hiihere      17. "I ks Mellschcll ~riil~(l's Vndi"lIsl hll'ihl wohl, WCIlII er ,Ii,· I JIllS( ;illd" , " VI<'I ,d·,
                                                                                                                                                                                                     '
KlIlcur hir sieh hl'h"hclI, mall wolle uns zu keinen Wissenschafren zulassen, man                     '"ii~lich  llt'slimmr lind sieh so wt'llig OIls lllii~lich VOIl ihnt'll bt'slilllll,clll;igl. " Si". 1,('1>..
verlange, dag wir nur Tandelpuppen oder Haushalterinnen sein sollten." Wilh elm                       N iehte. haben Ihr sittliches Wesen, Ihrt' tide liebevolle Natur mit sid I selhsl IIl1d IIlil
Mei.rten Lehrjahre, book 7 (W XXIII, p. 54).                                                          dem hiichsten Wesen iibereinstimmend zu machen gesucht." Wilhelm Mei.rIl'f'J /" ./1,.
   7, Dichtung und Wahrheit, books 8,12,14,15 (WXXVII, p. 200; W XXVIII, pp. 106,                     jahre, book 6 (W XXII, pp. 332-333).
268, 303-304).                                                                                           18 ... Aber tief in uns liegt diese schopferische Kraft, die das zu erschaffen vermag, was
   8. "U nd ich lernte in diesem Hause einen groBen Theil der Fiirsten, Grafen und Herren             sein soli, und uns nicht ruhen und rasten laBt, bis wir es auBer uns oder an uns, allf eine
des Reichs kennen." Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre, book 6 (W XXII, p. 299).                              oder die andere Weise, dargestellt haben." (W XXII, p. 333).
   9. "Sie wuBte den rechten Weg gewohnlich anzudeuten, eben weil ~ie in's Labyrinth von                 19. Goethe to Schiller, 18 March 1795.
oben herabsah und nicht selbst darin befangen war; hatte man sich aber entschieden, so                   20. For more information about women in Pietist circles, see Richard Critchfield,
konnte man sich auf die Bereitwilligkeit und auf die Thatkrafr meiner Mutter verlassen.               "Prophetin, Fiihrerin, Organisatorin. Zur Rolle der Frau im Pietismus," in Die Frau von
Wie jener [Susanne von Klettenberg] das Schauen, so kam dieser [Goethe's mother] der                  der Reformation zur Romantik, ed. Barbara Becker-Cantarino (Bonn, 1980).
Glaube zu Hilfe. " Dichtung und Wahrheit, book 15 (W XXVIII, p. 325).                                    21. Wilhelm von Humboldt to Schiller, 4 December 1795.
    10. "Schelret die Weiber! ... Aber laBt mich euch was von Mannsleucen erzahlen. Was                  22. See X enien (1796), Volume VIII of Schriften der Goethe-Gesellschaft, ed. Erich
seid denn ihr, urn von Wankelmuth zu sprechen? Ihr, die ihr selten seid was ihr sein wollt,           Schmidt and Bernhard Suphan (Weimar, 1893) , pp. 570-587,663-675.
niemals was ihr sein sollret ... mochtest du doch diese Quintessenz des mannlichen                       23. Xenien, pp. 673-674.
Geschlechts, den Phonix Weislingen zu Gesicht kriegen!" Giitz von Berlichingen, Act 2                    24. Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre, book 8, chapter 2_
( W VIII, p. 73).                                                                                        25. "Die Thatige, zum Erwerben, zum Erhalten Geschaffene, ist Herr im Hause; die
    11. "U nd ich habe nicht Arme, nicht Mark wie ihr; doch hab' ich, was euch allen eben             Schone, leicht und oberflachlich Gebildete, Herr in groBen Cirkeln; die tiefer Gebildete
fehlt, Much und Verachtung der Gefahr." Egmont, Act 5, Scene 1 (W VIII, p. 278).                      beherrscht die kleinen Kreise." Die guten Weiber (W XVIII, p. 307).
    12. Denn als er ... befordert wurde, lieB er mir seine Hand nochmals antragen, freilich              26. "Es ist keine Frage, daB bei allen gebildeten Nationen die Frauen im Ganzen das
mit der Bedingung, daB ich als Gattin ... meine Gesinnungen wiirde zu andern haben. leh               Ubergewicht gewinnen mussen; denn bei einem wechselseitigen EinfiuB muB der Mann
dankte hofiich .... leh darf nicht mit Stillschweigen iibergehen daB einigemal, ooch eh' er           weiblicher werden, und dann ver/iere er; denn sein Vorzug besteht nicht in gemaBigter,
eine Bedienung erhielt, auch nachher, ansehnliche Heiratsantrage an mich get han                      sondern in gebandigter Kraft; nimmt dagegen das Weib von dem Mann etwas an, so
wurden, die ich aber ganz ohne Bedenken ausschlug ... nur das tiefe Gefiihl meines Rechts             gewinnt sie; denn wenn sie ihre iibrigen Vorzuge durch Energie erheben kann, so entsteht
gab mir Starke .... leh zeigte ihm ... daB ich recht handle, daB ich bereit sei, diese                ein Wesen, das sich nicht vollkommner denken laBt." Ibid.
GewiBheit mit dem Ver/ust des geliebten Brautigams und anscheinenden Gliicks, ja wenn                    27. "Ich behaupte, daB es durchaus jetzt schwerer sei ein vollendeter Mann zu werden,
es nothig ware, mit Hab und Gut zu versiegeln; daB ich lieber mein Vater/and, Eltern und              als ein vollendetes Weib; der Ausspruch: "Er soil dein Herr sein" ist die Formel einer
Freunde verlassen, und mein Brot in der Fremde verdienen, als gegen meine Einsichten                  barbarischen Zeit, die lange voriiber ist. Die Manner konnten sich nicht vollig ausbilden,
handeln wolle .... Wollte er meine Uberzeugung nicht storen, so war ich die seine; ohne               ohne den Frauen gleiche Rechte zuzugestehen; indem die Frauen sich ausbildeten, stand
diese Bedingung hatte ich ein Konigreich mit ihm ausgeschlagen." Wilhelm Meisters                     die Wageschale inne, und indem sie bildungsfahiger sind, neigt sich in der Erfahrung die
Lehrjahre, book 6 (W XXII, pp. 295-297).                                                              Wageschale zu ihren Gunsten." Ibid., pp. 306-307.
    13. W XXII, p. 292.                                                                                  28. The author wishes to thank Jane Rice of Stanford University for translating this
    14. "Meine Geschichte war ruchbar geworden, und es waren viele Menschen neugierig,                essay from the German.
des Madchen zu sehen, die Gort mehr sc hatzce als ihren Brautigam. " ( W XXII, p. 298f. ).
    15. "Hatten Sie, meine Freundin, deren hochstes BedurfniB war, mit Ihrer innern
sittlichen Natur in's Reine zu kommen, anstatt der groBen und kiihnen Aufopferungen,
sich zwischen Ihrer Familie, einem Brautigam, vielleicht einem Gemahl nur so hin
beholfen, Sie wurden, in einem ewigen Widerspruch mit sich selbst, niemals einen
zufriedenen Augenblick genossen haben. " (W XXII, p. 334).
    16.     Hat denn zur unerhorten T at der Mann
            Allein das Recht? Druckt denn Unmogliches
            Nur Er an die gewalt'ge Heldenbrust?
            Was nennt man groB? Was hebt die Seele schaudernd ..
            Ais was mit unwahrscheinlichem Erfolg
            Der Mutigste begann. (lphigenie auf Tauris, Act V, II. 1892-1897) .

				
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