König Ottokars Glück und Ende


König Ottokars Glück und Ende is a tragedy in five acts written by Franz Grillparzer in 1823. Based on the historical events surrounding the life of Ottokar II of Bohemia, the play deals with the fall of the king from the height of his powers to his death, having lost most of his supporters and lands, largely through his own actions. Grillparzer had originally wanted to write a tragedy about Napoleon, however, fearing censorship from Austrian authorities, instead used King Ottokar II of Bohemia (1253–1278) as the central figure, as there were a number of parallels in personality traits and circumstances. The play was completed in 1823, but publication was delayed by censorship issues, notably the "unfortunate allusion to Napoleon's second marriage to Marie-Louise of Austria, and its unfavourable portrayal of Bohemia". The wife of Francis II, Holy Roman Emperor, Caroline Augusta of Bavaria read the play and urged her husband to allow it to be publicly performed, which took place for the first time on February 19, 1825 in Vienna's Burgtheater. The play's nationalistic themes in particular were criticised when first released, and remain controversial today. However the tight focus on the personal tragedy of Ottokar, at once the cause and the victim of events around him, as well as the elegance of the verse, has maintained the popularity of the play among students and audiences to the present.
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original title: König Ottokars Glück und Ende
language: German
date of publication: 1825
genre: tragedy


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