University of Leicester
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Andreas Gryphius' Aemilius Paulus Papinianus on the German itinerant stage of the late 17th and early 18th century. Being a critical analysis of two adaptations of the drama for the itinerant theatre.

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posted on 2015-11-19, 09:06 authored by Doreen B. P. Rolph
This investigation examines two adaptations of Gryphius' Aemillus Paulus Papinianus for the German itinerant theatre in order to establish their relationship to Gryphius' tragedy, their relationship to each other, and also to assess whether or not they have some individual contribution to make to the contemporary German popular drama. It has proved possible to establish which is the earlier version and also to surmise or corroborate the authorship of each manuscript. A detailed analysis is made of the structure, plot, language and style of the adaptations, with particular attention being paid to the methods used to render the original literary drama acceptable to the wider kind of audience for which the itinerant theatre catered. Of the new features in the adaptations the introduction of the element of comedy proves to be the most significant and rewarding of investigation. Since one of the comic figures is a lawyer this new element provides a sharp contrast to the treatment of the theme of justice in the serious action of the adaptations and in Gryphius' original play. The principal deduction made from the investigation is that, although the adaptations are essentially in the pattern of other contemporary dramas of the itinerant theatre, they nevertheless have features which appear to be peculiar to themselves. The most important of these is the exceptionally extensive scope given the comic characters together with the subject matter of the comic interludes. These scenes, often in the form of pseudo-learned discourses, cover a variety of themes of topical interest, which are treated in a satirical fashion. The content and treatment of some of these interludes point to a connection between these adaptations , and other popular satirical literature; this indicates that further investigation of associations "between dramas of the itinerant theatre and contemporary popular literature would prove worthwhile.


Date of award


Author affiliation

Modern Languages

Awarding institution

University of Leicester

Qualification level

  • Doctoral

Qualification name

  • PhD



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