Theses

Here you find short summaries of the M.A. theses originated in the environment of QuaDramA research and classes:

Sonja Eberhardt
Hebbels fathers and children from a psychoanalytical perspective
[Working title]
The planned thesis will analyse in a new way the dyad father and daughter in the dramas Maria Magdalena and Agnes Bernauer by Christian Friedrich Hebbel and contrasts it with the less studied dyad father and son. By means of the character discourse, it is possible to develop figure conceptions that have not been stated in research so far. Analyses showed that, roughly speaking, the father figures seem to linger between the social component ‘patriarchy’ and the psychological components ‘anger and tenderness’. The study will also examine questions about the interaction between the figures: What form does it take? Is it for example determined by an aggressive and rough vocabulary? When and how must aggressive utterances be interpreted as tender ones (when considering the tale of woe of a figure)? The focus will be placed on the four antithetic psychological feature pairs ‘resilient and weak’, ‘tender and aggressive’, ‘intro- and extroverted’ and ‘defiant and obedient’. Previous work has not discussed the dyad of figures in that way yet nor thoroughly examined the psychological features that determine their relationship.

Christiane Schneider
“You whistle / how the beak has grown for you” - The Scaramutza character in the German-speaking drama

Scaramutza is a classical stock character of the commedia dell´arte, which can also be found in German theatre during the 17th century. The comments of other characters and of the character itself about the characteristics of this comic character range from a boastful bluffer to a foolish servant. This master’s thesis has the intention of showing a detailed representation of the character and their characteristics and development considering its roots in the German dramas of Kaspar Stieler. Subject of the work will be the dramas of the “Rudolstädter Festspiele”, which were performed between 1665 and 1667 within the courtly context.

Dominik Wabersich
Faust around 1800
[Working title]
In his master’s thesis, Dominik Wabersich attends to the dramatic character ‘Faustus’ around the year 1800. He assumes that Faustus shouldn’t be understood as an isolated appearance, but as a transmedial phenomenon. This is, all single Faustus characters would be based on a not yet scholastically modelled character type ‘Faustus’. The construction of a finely nuanced model of the character type ‘Faustus’ that is based on deviancy is the purpose of the thesis. The analysis and interpretation of the character ‘Faustus’ in the plays by Paul Weidmann (1775), Friedrich Maler Müller (1778), Josef Karl Bernhard (1816) and Johann Wolfang Goethe (1808/1832) are at the centre of the interest. His research focus lies on the sort of deviancy, the quality of the character and the way of character-painting. In addition, the aesthetic transposition of Faustus, his position in the character constellation and the way of poetic justice in the plays will be analysed.

Nathalie Wiedmer
Automatic extraction and quantitative analysis of relations of dramatic charcters

In this paper a literary thesis was examined using digital methods. It is a thesis of Manfred Pfister, which he published in his work Das Drama in 1977. There he explains his assumption that statements about dramas can be made with the help of the interruption frequency (average replica length of a dialogue). The peculiarity and at the same time also the difficulty of the investigation of this thesis is that it was not designed to be examined with quantitative and computer-aided methods at its time of origin. This resulted in two research questions on different levels. At the text level, the significance of the interruption frequency for the proximity of characters and the statements that can be made about texts were investigated. At the meta-level, the question was examined to what extent it is possible to make a literary approach such as Pfisters analysable using digital methods.

Nina Wittmann
Character types in Expressionist drama
[Working title]
The planned thesis systematically analyses character types in expressionistic dramatic texts, such as »Der Sohn« by Walter Hasenclever, »Die Wandlung« by Ernst Toller or Georg Kaiser’s »Von morgens bis mitternachts«. To begin with, we assume that the standardisation of types is based upon given social categorisations. The conventional scheme of character types, which is closely linked to specific range of roles in theatre, will not be sufficient to determine the types in the expressionistic texts and must therefore be supplemented with new types, which will be elaborated in the texts. Moreover, it must be considered if and if so, to which extent the characters evolve during the play and which might be the consequences of this development.
The next step is to closely examine the functions of the typified character concept. I assume that, by thoroughly analysing the characters, we will detect an idea of a ›greater vision of humankind‹. To illustrate this vision, it is more useful to choose a typified character concept than an individualised one. By choosing a more abstract point of view, superordinate relations will become more visible. How do human beings function in modern society? What is the relation between freedom and social determination? What is restricting human beings to live up entirely to their possibilities? The assumption is that a possible idea of the ›renewed human being‹, how Georg Kaiser puts it, is closely linked to the sociocultural context and that it is easier to proof this connection by using character types rather than an individual character characterisation.
There are few elaborated theories, which attempt an in-depth understanding of the character in dramatic texts. The theoretical and methodical fundament of the thesis are the categories of character analysis by Manfred Pfister. These will have to be complemented by the narratological theories relating to character of Ralf Schneider, Fotis Jannidis and Jens Eder. Additionally, it is possible that sociological approaches allow a deeper understanding of the contemporary social circumstances the dramatic texts are constantly referring to. The theories of Max Weber, Georg Simmel and Ferdinand Tönnies might be useful in this context.