Ferdinand Jakob Raimund Criticism - Essay

John Firman Coar (essay date 1903)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: "Régime Metternich," in Studies in German Literature in the Nineteenth Century, Macmillan, 1903, pp. 79-104.

[In the following excerpt, Coar describes the relationship between Raimund's artistic achievement and the contemporary social and political atmosphere in early nineteenth-century Austria.]

When the Congress of Vienna ushered in the so-called Restoration, princely diplomacy and selfish fear robbed the people of the fruits of their struggle. Patriots like Arndt, Gneisenau, Scharnhorst, Wilhelm von Humboldt, Stein, and so many others were made to feel the heavy hand of royal displeasure for insisting upon the fulfilment of royal promises. The notorious...

(The entire section is 3295 words.)

Henry Ten Eyck Perry (essay date 1939)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: "Sentimental and Fantastic Comedy: Lessing and Raimund," in Masters of Dramatic Comedy and Their Social Themes, Harvard University Press, 1939, pp. 275-313.

[In the following excerpt, Perry compares Raimund's fairy-world comedies and observes that his last play, Der Verschwender, "is probably his artistic masterpiece. "]

The libretto of Mozart's The Magic Flute, which Tieck had complimented in The Booted Cat, is one of the best-known survivals of the light drama which flourished for many years beside the Danube. With its clownish Hanswurst and its rough horseplay, its supernatural machinery and its incidental music, this kind of comedy...

(The entire section is 3349 words.)

Fred Krügel (essay date 1968)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: "Ferdinand Raimund's Gutenstein Poems," in Essays on German Literature in Honour of G. Joyce Hallamore, edited by Michael S. Batts and Marketa Goetz Stankiewicz, University of Toronto Press, 1968, pp. 128-51.

[In the following essay, Krügel explores the imagery of Raimund's Gutenstein poems and studies reflections of the tragic quality of the dramatist's life in these works.]

Many critics have shown how the essential optimism of Ferdinand Raimund's dramas is weakened by tragic undertones.1 Politzer suggests that the Baroque theatre, from which Raimund's plays derive their metaphysical framework, may be seen as the expression not only of belief in a...

(The entire section is 8985 words.)

Dorothy James Prohaska (essay date 1969)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: "Raimund's Contribution to Viennese Popular Comedy," in The German Quarterly, Vol. XLII, No. 3, May, 1969, pp. 352-67.

[In the following essay, Prohaska surveys Raimund's plays, noting that his greatest contribution to popular drama was the creation of convincing comic characters.]

When Ferdinand Raimund the actor was engaged to play major comic roles at the Leopoldstadt theatre in 1817, he joined one of the most successful groups of popular entertainers who have ever trodden the European stage. Night after night, year after year, they played to a full house in this little suburban theater. Tireless local playwrights constantly replenished the vast repertoire...

(The entire section is 6817 words.)

Dorothy Prohaska (essay date 1970)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: "The Shifting Scene," in Raimund and Vienna: A Critical Study of Raimund's Plays in Their Viennese Setting, Cambridge University Press, 1970, pp. 53-84.

[In the following essay, Prohaska studies Raimund's use of local color in his early dramas. She summarizes, "Raimund was completely the master of local parody but in his search for a form in which he could express his more ambitious concepts, he sometimes allowed his vision to blind him. "]


The popular dramatist in Vienna did not use local colour in his plays in order to present a realistic picture of the society in which he lived. He did, however, use it extensively to create the...

(The entire section is 12730 words.)

Laurence V. Harding (essay date 1974)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: "Language," in The Dramatic Art of Ferdinand Raimund and Johann Nestroy: A Critical Study, Mouton, 1974, pp. 130-68.

[In the following excerpt, Harding examines Raimund's use of language, imagery, imaginative humor, and sound in his dramas.]

The Local Element

Exceptional variety of technique and a high degree of skill characterize Raimund's language in all his plays. The poet inherited a tendency to mix formalized stage German with the folk language. One finds the Alexandrine, blank verse, the Knittelvers, and the distich in close proximity to prose passages in Viennese dialect. Stately and somber poetry is followed by the rough...

(The entire section is 6185 words.)

Roger Crockett (essay date 1985)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: "Raimund's Der Verschwender: The Illusion of Freedom," in The German Quarterly, Vol. 58, No. 2, Spring, 1985, pp. 184-93.

[In the following essay, Crockett investigates Raimund's use of fate in Der Verschwender, arguing that the play illustrates the workings of deterministic forces in a manner similar to that of his earlier magic plays.]

It has been a popular contention in Raimund scholarship that Der Verschwender, the author's last play and one of his most successful ones, represents a break with traditional Baroque determinism. While in earlier dramas a hierarchy of supernatural beings intervened repeatedly to rescue mortal...

(The entire section is 5005 words.)

Calvin N. Jones (essay date 1991)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: "Ferdinand Raimund and Ödön von Horváth: The Volksstück as Negation and Utopia," in The German Quarterly, Vol. 64, No. 3, Summer, 1991, pp. 325-38.

[In the following excerpt, Jones probes the ideological undercurrents of Raimund's Der Alpenkönig und der Menschenfeind, maintaining that the play negates the possibility of social unity in early nineteenth-century Austria and instead strives toward a Utopian solution.]

Plays by a number of different authors of the past two centuries have been treated in literary studies as examples of the Volksstück.1 Although there are many that could be examined in terms of the validity of...

(The entire section is 6462 words.)