Götz von Berlichingen


Götz von Berlichingen is a successful 1773 drama by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, based on the memoirs of the historical adventurer-poet Gottfried or Götz von Berlichingen (c. 1480–1562). It first appeared in English in 1799 as Goetz of Berlichingen of the Iron Hand in a rather free version by Walter Scott.Goethe's plot treats events freely: while the historical Götz died an octogenarian, Goethe's hero is a free spirit, a maverick, intended to be a pillar of national integrity against a deceitful and over-refined society, and the way in which he tragically succumbs to the abstract concepts of law and justice shows the submission of the individual in that society. Götz von Berlichingen was one of Goethe's early successes but its large cast size, frequent quick scene changes, and long running time caused the original version to eventually fall out of favour. The play has been re-arranged and cut many times, including two versions by Goethe that were published posthumously. A 1925 silent film Goetz von Berlichingen of the Iron Hand was directed by Hubert Moest, while a 1955 Austrian production Goetz von Berlichingen starred Ewald Balser in the title role. In 1979 Wolfgang Liebeneiner directed Raimund Harmstorf in a film version, Goetz von Berlichingen of the Iron Hand.
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original title: Götz von Berlichingen mit der eisernen Hand
language: German
date of publication: 1889
genre: comedy

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