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Kleist's Broken Pitcher: The Comedy of Law between Text and Context

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Comedy; Tragedy; Modernity; Formalism; Natural Law.

In the "Scientific Ways of Treating Natural Law", Hegel considers comedy as an expression of an intimately split modernity, devoid of ethos and subordinate to the abstract formalism of law. His diagnosis seems borne out by Kleist's Broken Pitcher, where justice is disregarded and circumvented by the judges and parties at trial, all trying to bend the law to their own interests. This comedy unforgivingly emphasizes the inability of right alone to lead man to the necessary acceptance of his responsibilities and destiny, which Hegel describes as self-sacrifice for a common interest, and which in his poetics of tragedy takes shape in the idea of conciliation.

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