Bibliography (Cyclopedia of Literary Characters, Revised Third Edition)
Flygt, Sten G. Friedrich Hebbel. New York: Twayne, 1968. A useful plot summary with interpretive observations. Discusses Maria Magdalena as Hebbel’s first masterpiece; all characters belong to the lower middle class, which is presented as being ripe for change.
Glenn, Jerry H. “The Title of Hebbel’s Maria Magdalena.” Papers on Language and Literature 3, no. 2 (Spring, 1967): 122-133. An excellent analysis of the entire play. Like the Pharisees in the Bible, the members of Hebbel’s bourgeois society are quick to condemn. The title suggests the Christian message of love and forgiveness that is so conspicuously absent in the play.
Weiss, Hermann F. “Animal and Nature References in F. Hebbel’s Maria Magdalena.” Semi-nar 7, no. 3 (October, 1971): 191-200. Anthony is associated with a hedgehog since he maintains a defensive position. Leonard, the villain of the play, is seen as a snake. The negative animal imagery emphasizes the inhumanity of society’s moral standards.
Wells, G. A. “Hebbel’s Maria Magdalena and Its Critics Past and Present.” Quinquereme 6, no. 2 (1983): 141-154. Good formal and stylistic analysis of the play, with a critical overview of its reception. The characters Anthony, Leonard, and Friedrich are fatally flawed by their concern...
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