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Jens Harzer

Jens Harzer © Sepp Dreissinger

Sandra Hüller

Sandra Hüller © Kirsten Becken

Jens Harzer / Sandra Hüller

Heinrich von Kleist: Penthesilea

Monday 6 November 2023



Jens Harzer, Lesung

Sandra Hüller, Lesung


Heinrich von Kleist



Medienpartner Ö1 Club

Subscription series Literatur im Konzerthaus

Presented by Wiener Konzerthausgesellschaft

Kleist's »Radikaldramatik«: Penthesilea, the Amazon Queen

Heinrich von Kleist's tragedy »Penthesilea« would in itself have offered a truly cinematic material: The Amazon queen Penthesilea, bound by the »law of women«, rules over her womenfolk and goes to war with them. However, the law of the Amazons does not foresee that a battle-hardened Amazon queen falls in love with the hero Achilles of all people ... The blank verse drama with its »radical drama« was considered by Kleist's contemporaries to be an absolute taboo-breaker: both in terms of its content and its formal design. For a long time, the play had the reputation of being unperformable. Kleist's intensive use of dramaturgical means such as the messenger's report and the Teichoscopie (wall show) called into question the archetype of the theatrical, a visible stage action, and left many events solely to the inner eye of the reader - not least in order to conceal the horrific deed of the raging Penthesilea from the sense of sight. A reading of the drama of the soul in the shadowy realm of love and madness is provided by Sandra Hüller and Iffland Ring bearer Jens Harzer.

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