Roe, Ian Frank Books

An Introduction to the Major Works of Franz Grillparzer, 1791 - 1872, Austrian Dramatist
1991 0-7734-9725-0
This work provides a general survey with the main emphasis on the thematic and dramatic content of the plays (genesis and background, structure, characters, major themes), though questions of language, style and imagery are not neglected, especially where these contribute to the play's theatrical effectiveness. This work's most important contribution to scholarship is the investigation of Grillparzer's interest in the Classical generation of writers, reflected in almost all his works, either in the form of a debt to a particular work or in the echoing of key philosophical themes of the period. Grillparzer's mature works reveal an interest in high ideals on the one hand and a recognition of the demands of everyday reality on the other, while the formal precision of Classical drama is enriched by a theatrical immediacy in keeping with Viennese traditions. This combination reflects the conflicts in Grillparzer's own personality and results in a considerable degree of ambiguity in the presentation of characters and themes, but it is precisely such a rejection of easy solutions in his works that ensures their relevance for a modern audience.