• Research Paper on:
    Gotthold Ephraim Lessing's 1779 Play Nathan the Wise

    Number of Pages: 5


    Summary of the research paper:

    In five pages this paper discusses Lessing's 5 act play in a consideration of his portrayal of the lack of tolerance demonstrated by a Hamburg cleric during the Enlightenment.

    Name of Research Paper File: D0_BBnathan.doc

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    controversial material to prompt peoples thoughts, he angered a cleric in Hamburg, who began a violent and personal anti-Semitic attack upon Lessing to make his literary point. This  story is addressing the clerics lack of tolerance. BBnathan.doc NATHAN THE WISE (1779) Written by B. Bryan Babcock for the Paperstore, Inc., December 2000  Introduction / History Nathan the Wise, written in 1779, was one of Lessings last theater pieces. As a piece written during the "enlightenment" watch for symbols of light, flame,  fire or brightness, which those artists generally liked to use, as they are relating a tale or trying to put forward a theme. Lessing did not really expect the  play would be performed, and thus called it a "drama of ideas," hoping that it would at last be read. Summary of plot The story is set in the historic  city of Jerusalem. The Knight saves Racha from a fire while her father is away on business. Nathan is aware that the Sultan has saved the Knight. Although  the Knight has saved Racha , he speaks disparagingly of her, when he says, "even if the life I saved might be as unimportant as this Jewish girls" (1219/1220), not  realizing that she is adopted and Christian. This conversation occurs as Nathan is trying to thank him for his actions toward his daughter, and we see the tension between  the two men as the tension between the two religions. When Nathan offers the Knight Templer a reward, The Knight still remains rude and combative, but cannot get a flare  out of Nathan the thankful father. Nathan makes every effort to keep the conversation on an even keel, and attempts to point out ways that they might be similar 

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