Minna von Barnhelm

by Gotthold Ephraim Lessing

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MINNA VON BARNHELM is important for two reasons. First, it was a beginning of a drama native to Germany, with much appeal for its original audience: the historical background touched their patriotism; its treatment of German soldiers and German women aroused their sympathy; and its amusing blend of comedy and pathos touched their hearts. Secondly, it ranks high in Lessing’s canon. Modern readers follow the action easily, for the unity of plot and setting keeps the play in small compass.

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