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A New and Complete Translation

Editorial Notes — Essays 61-70

1 Leave a comment on paragraph 1 0 Essay 61

2 Leave a comment on paragraph 2 0 [61.1] Actually published winter of 1768.

3 Leave a comment on paragraph 3 0 [61.2] In [54], Lessing begins his analysis of The Unhappy Favourite: or, The Earl of Essex (1682) by John Banks; here Lessing continues, from [60], his extended synopsis and discussion of a “Spanish Essex” (Antonio Coello’s Dar la vida por su Dama, 1633). See [60.2].

4 Leave a comment on paragraph 4 0 [61.3] For the quotation in Lessing’s footnote, see Coello 7–8.

5 Leave a comment on paragraph 5 0 [61.4] Ibid. 8.

6 Leave a comment on paragraph 6 0 [61.5] Ibid. 9.

7 Leave a comment on paragraph 7 0 Essay 62

8 Leave a comment on paragraph 8 0 [62.1] Actually published winter of 1768.

9 Leave a comment on paragraph 9 0 [62.2] In [54], Lessing begins his analysis of The Unhappy Favourite: or, The Earl of Essex (1682) by John Banks; here Lessing continues, from [60], his extended synopsis and discussion of a “Spanish Essex” (Antonio Coello’s Dar la vida por su Dama, 1633). See [60.2].

10 Leave a comment on paragraph 10 0 [62.3] For the quotation in Lessing’s footnote, see Coello 9–10.

11 Leave a comment on paragraph 11 0 [62.4] Ibid., 10.

12 Leave a comment on paragraph 12 0 [62.5] Ibid.

13 Leave a comment on paragraph 13 0 [62.6] Ibid.

14 Leave a comment on paragraph 14 0 [62.7] Ibid.

15 Leave a comment on paragraph 15 0 [62.8] Ibid., 11.

16 Leave a comment on paragraph 16 0 [62.9] Ibid., 11–12.

17 Leave a comment on paragraph 17 0 [62.10] Lessing refers to hybrid plays popular with traveling troupes in the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, which featured great figures of the past and present. These serio-comic works condensed literary tragedies both domestic and foreign (including Spanish plays of love and honor), adding to them the improvisation and ribaldry of Italian commedia dell’arte. Such plays were irksome to eighteenth-century theatre reformers such as Lessing and J. C. Gottsched, and historians typically follow their lead, describing these works as bombastic, sensational, and gory, as well as comically obscene. Tr. note: the phrase Lessing uses here, “Staats- und Helden-Actionen,” is a variant on the more familiar label “Haupt- und Staats-Aktionen” [“head and state actions”]; the most common translation of this generic designation is “chief and state plays,” others include “main and state action,” “monarch and state action,” and “political action plays.”

18 Leave a comment on paragraph 18 0 [62.11] Lope Félix de Vega Carpio, commonly referred to as Lope de Vega (1562–1635): major playwright of the Spanish Golden Age.

19 Leave a comment on paragraph 19 0 [62.12] Cristóbal de Virués (c.1550–c.1614): Spanish poet, playwright, and soldier.

20 Leave a comment on paragraph 20 0 [62.13] See Vega, Rimas 375–7; The New Art of Writing Plays 31.

21 Leave a comment on paragraph 21 0 [62.14] Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (1547–1616): renowned Spanish novelist, poet, and playwright; author of Don Quixote (1605, 1615). Lessing’s quotation is from the “Prologo al lector” [“Prologue to the Reader”] in Ocho comedias y ocho entremeses nuevos [Eight New Plays and Interludes] (Cervantes 7).

22 Leave a comment on paragraph 22 0 Essay 63

23 Leave a comment on paragraph 23 0 [63.1] Actually published winter of 1768.

24 Leave a comment on paragraph 24 0 [63.2] In [54], Lessing begins his analysis of The Unhappy Favourite: or, The Earl of Essex (1682) by John Banks; here Lessing continues, from [60], his extended synopsis and discussion of a “Spanish Essex” (Antonio Coello’s Dar la vida por su Dama, 1633). See [60.2].

25 Leave a comment on paragraph 25 0 [63.3] For the quotation in Lessing’s footnote, see Coello 13.

26 Leave a comment on paragraph 26 0 [63.4] Ibid.

27 Leave a comment on paragraph 27 0 [63.5] Ibid.

28 Leave a comment on paragraph 28 0 [63.6] Irene: a musician; the character never appears onstage.

29 Leave a comment on paragraph 29 0 [63.7] Coello 14.

30 Leave a comment on paragraph 30 0 [63.8] Redondilla: Spanish four-line octosyllabic stanza with the rhyme scheme ABBA. Lessing provides the Spanish in his footnote below.

31 Leave a comment on paragraph 31 0 [63.9] For the song (the mote) quoted by Lessing in his footnote, see Coello 14; for the larger quotation (the glosa), see pages 14–15. Boscán and Garcilaso: Juan Boscán (Joan Boscà i Almogàver) (c.1490–1542) and Garcilaso de la Vega (1503–36), poets (Catalan and Spanish, respectively) whose works were published together posthumously in 1543; their naturalization of Italian verse forms had a lasting influence on Spanish Golden Age poetry.

32 Leave a comment on paragraph 32 0 [63.10] Coello 15.

33 Leave a comment on paragraph 33 0 Essay 64

34 Leave a comment on paragraph 34 0 [64.1] Actually published winter of 1768.

35 Leave a comment on paragraph 35 0 [64.2] In [54], Lessing begins his analysis of The Unhappy Favourite: or, The Earl of Essex (1682) by John Banks; here Lessing continues, from [60], his extended synopsis and discussion of a “Spanish Essex” (Antonio Coello’s Dar la vida por su Dama, 1633). See [60.2].

36 Leave a comment on paragraph 36 0 [64.3] For the first part of the quotation in Lessing’s footnote, see Coello 15; for the second, see page 16.

37 Leave a comment on paragraph 37 0 [64.4] Coup de théâtre: term connoting a sudden and surprising plot development.

38 Leave a comment on paragraph 38 0 [64.5] See Coello 16.

39 Leave a comment on paragraph 39 0 [64.6] Ibid., 17.

40 Leave a comment on paragraph 40 0 [64.7] Ibid., 18.

41 Leave a comment on paragraph 41 0 Essay 65

42 Leave a comment on paragraph 42 0 [65.1] Actually published in early 1768.

43 Leave a comment on paragraph 43 0 [65.2] In [54], Lessing begins his analysis of The Unhappy Favourite: or, The Earl of Essex (1682) by John Banks; here Lessing continues, from [60], his extended synopsis and discussion of a “Spanish Essex” (Antonio Coello’s Dar la vida por su Dama, 1633). See [60.2].

44 Leave a comment on paragraph 44 0 [65.3] For the quotation in Lessing’s footnote, see Coello 19.

45 Leave a comment on paragraph 45 0 [65.4] Ibid., 19–20.

46 Leave a comment on paragraph 46 0 [65.5] Ibid., 21–22.

47 Leave a comment on paragraph 47 0 Essay 66

48 Leave a comment on paragraph 48 0 [66.1] Actually published in early 1768.

49 Leave a comment on paragraph 49 0 [66.2] In [54], Lessing begins his analysis of The Unhappy Favourite: or, The Earl of Essex (1682) by John Banks; here Lessing continues, from [60], his extended synopsis and discussion of a “Spanish Essex” (Antonio Coello’s Dar la vida por su Dama, 1633). See [60.2].

50 Leave a comment on paragraph 50 0 [66.3] For the quotation in Lessing’s footnote, see Coello 23.

51 Leave a comment on paragraph 51 0 [66.4] An apparently treasonous letter written by Essex; actually intended to trap traitors plotting against the queen. See [61].

52 Leave a comment on paragraph 52 0 [66.5] See Coello 24.

53 Leave a comment on paragraph 53 0 [66.6] Ibid. 26. The final line belongs to Cosme, rather than Essex.

54 Leave a comment on paragraph 54 0 Essay 67

55 Leave a comment on paragraph 55 0 [67.1] Actually published in early 1768.

56 Leave a comment on paragraph 56 0 [67.2] In [54], Lessing begins his analysis of The Unhappy Favourite: or, The Earl of Essex (1682) by John Banks; here Lessing continues, from [60], his extended synopsis and discussion of a “Spanish Essex” (Antonio Coello’s Dar la vida por su Dama, 1633). See [60.2].

57 Leave a comment on paragraph 57 0 [67.3] For the quotation in Lessing’s footnote, see Coello 27.

58 Leave a comment on paragraph 58 0 [67.4] Ibid. 28.

59 Leave a comment on paragraph 59 0 [67.5] Ibid. 29.

60 Leave a comment on paragraph 60 0 [67.6] Ibid.

61 Leave a comment on paragraph 61 0 [67.7] Ibid.

62 Leave a comment on paragraph 62 0 [67.8] Ibid.

63 Leave a comment on paragraph 63 0 Essay 68

64 Leave a comment on paragraph 64 0 [68.1] Actually published in early 1768.

65 Leave a comment on paragraph 65 0 [68.2] In [54], Lessing begins his analysis of The Unhappy Favourite: or, The Earl of Essex (1682) by John Banks; here Lessing continues, from [60], his extended synopsis and discussion of a “Spanish Essex” (Antonio Coello’s Dar la vida por su Dama, 1633). See [60.2].

66 Leave a comment on paragraph 66 0 [68.3] For the quotation in Lessing’s footnote, see Coello 31.

67 Leave a comment on paragraph 67 0 [68.4] Ibid.

68 Leave a comment on paragraph 68 0 [68.5] Ibid.

69 Leave a comment on paragraph 69 0 [68.6] Virginia (1750): tragedy by Spanish playwright and critic Agustín de Montiano y Luyando (1697–1764), proponent of the French neoclassical model and author of Discurso sobre las tragedia españolas [Discourse on Spanish Tragedies] (1750–53). In 1754, Lessing published a lengthy selection from Virginia in his Theatralische Bibliothek; the play is considered to have influenced Lessing’s tragedy Emilia Galotti (1772). See Nisbet 487.

70 Leave a comment on paragraph 70 0 [68.7] See Lessing, “Auszug aus dem Trauerspiele Virginia des Don Augustino de Montiano y Luyando” (“Excerpt from the Tragedy Virginia by Don Augustino de Montiano y Luyando”) in Part 1 of the Theatralische Bibliothek (pages 117–208).

71 Leave a comment on paragraph 71 0 [68.8] Moniano’s second tragedy was Ataúlfo (1753). Pedro Calderón de la Barca (1600–81): Spanish playwright and poet, considered, with Lope, the greatest of Spanish Golden Age playwrights.

72 Leave a comment on paragraph 72 0 [68.9] Decorum: the French neoclassical rule of bienséance (propriety), which called for civility and an adherence to perceived social norms of behavior.

73 Leave a comment on paragraph 73 0 [68.10] Hanswurst: see [18.6]. Generally, Lessing supported neither the mixing of genres, nor the antics of the German clown Hanswurst; here his (qualified) support of the “Spanish Hanswurst” allows him to criticize, as he does in this paragraph, both the “cold uniformity” of French neoclassical theatre and the aristocratically-dominated social structure it upholds.

74 Leave a comment on paragraph 74 0 Essay 69

75 Leave a comment on paragraph 75 0 [69.1] Actually published in early 1768.

76 Leave a comment on paragraph 76 0 [69.2] Lessing continues his discussion, begun in [68], of the mixture of comedy and tragedy in Spanish Golden Age drama.

77 Leave a comment on paragraph 77 0 [69.3] See [62].

78 Leave a comment on paragraph 78 0 [69.4] Lessing appears to have translated this passage not from the Spanish, but from a French translation of Lope’s poem entitled Nouvelle Pratique de Théatre, accommodée à l’usage présent d’Espagne, adressée à l’Académie de Madrid e traduite de l’espangol de Lopez de Vega [The New Practice of Theater, accommodated to the current usage in Spain, addressed to the Academy of Madrid and translated from the Spanish of Lope de Vega]. See Robertson 299–300.

79 Leave a comment on paragraph 79 0 [69.5] Old Comedy: Lope appears to refer to the classical comedy of both Greece and Rome; in contemporary usage, the term refers to ancient Greek comedy (c. 5th century BCE), considered synonymous with the work of Aristophanes (c. 450–c. 388 BCE). Lessing discusses Plautus’s Amphitryon at the end of [55].

80 Leave a comment on paragraph 80 0 [69.6] Menander (c. 342–c. 292 BCE): Hellenistic playwright, chief representative of Athenian New Comedy. Plutarch criticizes Old Comedy through Aristophanes, its only extant representative, in “A Comparison Between Aristophanes and Menander” (extant only in fragments), for combining “tragic, comic, pompous, and prosaic elements, obscurity, vagueness, dignity, and elevation, loquacity and sickening nonsense” (465).

81 Leave a comment on paragraph 81 0 [69.7] Lucius Annaeus Seneca (Seneca the Younger) (c. 4 BCE–65 CE): Roman orator, statesman, Stoic philosopher, and tragic playwright. Pasiphae’s minotaur: in Greek mythology, a monster with the body of a man and the head of a bull; the offspring of Pasiphae, wife of the Cretan king Minos, and a bull.

82 Leave a comment on paragraph 82 0 [69.8] For the Spanish quoted in Lessing’s footnote, see Vega, Arte Nuevo de Hazer [sic] Comedias in Rimas 371–3. For an English translation see Vega, The New Art of Writing Plays 29–30.

83 Leave a comment on paragraph 83 0 [69.9] Lessing refers to Christoph Martin Wieland, see [15.7]. For the following passages, see Wieland’s novel, Geschichte des Agathon (1766–7) 2: 192–5; The history of Agathon 4: 1–5.

84 Leave a comment on paragraph 84 0 [69.10] Gothic taste: refers to the baroque style of the seventeenth century; although generally derided by eighteenth-century critics, its value would be readdressed at the end of the century by authors such as Wieland and Goethe. Haupt- und Staatsaktionen: see [62.10].

85 Leave a comment on paragraph 85 0 [69.11] Aristotle describes a plot as having two parts, the complication and the resolution; his term for the latter is lusis (λύσις), usually translated as “unraveling.” See Poetics (Part XVIII). Sliced through: reference to the deus ex machina of Greek theater.

86 Leave a comment on paragraph 86 0 [69.12] The Hanswurst character, popularized by the Viennese actor and manager Joseph Anton Stranitzky (1676–1726), remained an important figure in the theater of Vienna, capital of the Holy Roman Empire, long after its popularity declined elsewhere.

87 Leave a comment on paragraph 87 0 [69.13] Tr. note: Lessing cuts off midsentence for his parenthetical digression; he picks up his thought again at the beginning of [70].

88 Leave a comment on paragraph 88 0 [69.14] chew on the ***: part of the attraction of “trivial” novels of the time was their anonymity, which allowed the public the added entertainment of speculating about their authorship.

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Source: http://mcpress.media-commons.org/hamburg/editorial-notes-essays-61-70/