Gretchen's infanticide

  • In the scene At The Well, Gretchen herself describes the sequence of events best and in all their fateful simplicity. It is the progress from "sin" to "shame", that is to public disgrace as soon as her private transgression becomes "visible" as pregnancy. Already here the painful confusion over her private perception ("good, dear love", lines 3585/6) and public judgment ("slut", line 3753) which will eventually drive her mad is obvious. In her derangement and despair she will destroy the evidence against her, that is, drown her child.

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Author:Herbert Deinert
Document Type:Report
Date of Publication (online):2010/02/08
Year of first Publication:2010
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2010/02/08
GND Keyword:Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von; Kindesmord; Brandt, Susanna Margaretha; Gretchen
Herbert Deinert (Professor of German Studies, Emeritus) Department of German Studies, Cornell University, Ithaca NY 14853. Zusätzliches Material findet sich unter:
Dewey Decimal Classification:8 Literatur / 83 Deutsche und verwandte Literaturen / 830 Literaturen germanischer Sprachen; Deutsche Literatur
Sammlungen:Germanistik / GiNDok
BDSL-Klassifikation:13.00.00 Goethezeit / BDSL-Klassifikation: 13.00.00 Goethezeit > 13.14.00 Zu einzelnen Autoren
Licence (German):License LogoDeutsches Urheberrecht