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Emilia Galotti

3.08  ·  Rating details ·  6,037 ratings  ·  140 reviews
Mit dem 1772 erschienenen und uraufgeführten Drama Emilia Galotti schuf Gotthold Ephraim Lessing eines der bedeutendsten Beispiele für die Gattung des bürgerlichen Trauerspiels. Das Stück, das zu den Schlüsselwerken der Aufklärung und Empfindsamkeit gehört sowie als eines der ersten politischen Dramen der deutschen Literatur gilt, übt scharfe Kritik an der Willkürherrschaf ...more
Paperback, Reclams Universal-Bibliothek Band 45, 93 pages
Published 1986 by Philipp Reclam jun. (first published 1772)
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Average rating 3.08  · 
Rating details
 ·  6,037 ratings  ·  140 reviews

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Jun 26, 2014 rated it liked it
Honour killing posing as progessive Enlightenment drama. Should be taught differently from the way I read it in school! Where on Earth did my teacher find the courage to "admire" the sense of honour of Emilia's father?

A good girl is a dead virgin!
While ever since I read Gotthold Ephraim Lessing's 1772 Emilia Galotti for an 18th century German literature course at Mount Allison University in 1988, I have considered this classic drama of the German Enlightenment, of the Aufklärung (considered to be a bürgerliches Trauerspiel, a so-called bourgeois tragedy) very much a personal favourite, I have recently come to the rather uncomfortable and even shocking realisation and conclusion that Emilia's death at the hands of her father (although I d ...more
Oct 12, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: german
had to read it for school :/
Feb 16, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reads-2020, 1-stars
2nd read:
i take it back - i fucking hate this book mainly because i have to write a fucking german essay on it while having 5 other essays waiting for me in the back and this one is the most unsatisfying essay ive ever written in my whole entire life so far. fuck you.

1st read:
3 stars - for school (kinda liked it)
May 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting book with an important topic. However, for the society I grew up in, not really relevant.
May 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
We didn't actually read this in class although our exam is going to be all about it, so I read it myself. It was pleasantly surprised actually, it's a pretty good book and not hard to read at all. However the chronological order confused me, likely because our language teacher only gave us random parts of the play, the ending excluded. ...more
Apr 08, 2020 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
John Hatley
Jan 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a true classic by one of the greatest authors in all of German literature. It is one of the first examples of a critical view of hereditary aristocracy and its ability to set itself above religion, morals, decency and ethics. Perhaps the only difference between then and now is that “hereditary” has today been replaced with “monetary”. The basic principle, however, is the same.
Jan 06, 2019 rated it liked it
I had to read it for school, what should I say.
I normally don't like books in form of theater so I find the story dry at first. But as I got myself into it on a long train drive I started to enjoy it. The story line was sort of amusing and I already could tell myself how the story would end.
But I woulnd't buy this book if it was my own desicion, which is why I only gave three stars. Though I'm glad to have read this one.
Sebastian Wulff
Feb 24, 2015 rated it did not like it
First of all: I needed to read this book in class.
It was the first play I've read, so I went into it without really knowing, what was coming. And honestly, I didn't like it at all. I probably would've put this book away after a few pages if it wasn't for school. But so I tortured myself through it and I'm glad it's over.
Aug 07, 2010 rated it really liked it
An 18th century re-working of the story of Virginia. An indictment of the decadence of the aristocratic ruler in comparison with the virtue of the rising bourgeoisie. If that makes it sound like a turgid classic, then I'm sorry, because it is incredibly tense, vivid and engaging. ...more
Oct 16, 2008 rated it did not like it
that story is horrible, i had to read it in school
May 31, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: disturbing
I studied German literature. This book was one of the most boring, annoying, unnecessary books I've ever encountered. ...more
Feb 19, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: owned
Had to read this for school last year. May it be the story itself or my last-year german teacher: but I did not enjoy this one bit. Sorry, not sorry.
Jan 12, 2017 added it
Shelves: own
School read

This was horrible. Just don't talk to me about this. The worst thing is that this was my first german classic and it's making me wanna never read another one ever again
Henni Ro
I had to read it for german class and I hated it. If I am forced to read a book I immediately hate it. It takes the joy from reading ...
Sep 14, 2018 rated it did not like it
Feb 08, 2015 rated it it was ok
2.5 stars

Had to read this for school.
*you know it's german literature when you're a native german speaker and only undestand 70% of what they're saying*

Even though I read Emilia Galotti in german I will write this review in English.
Of course, it's a tragedy and tragedies are traditionally split in 5 parts. The climax of the story is often in "chapter" 3 and the death of the character/s in chapter 5.

My opinion:
Chapter 1 was a total mess and I can't remember much. I don't know what the English translation looks like but jus
Helen Bendix
Sep 13, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: classics
After reading about twelve of these kinds of plays, they start melting into each other. Sad betrayal of honor, unnecessary deaths, yadda yadda. It would be more interesting if people had to actually live with the consequences of their actions, but I guess that option sucked in the 18th century.

Anyway, Emilia Galotti is a beautiful virtuous maiden who gets about two scenes of dialogue while everyone else talks about her for the rest of the play. She wants to get married, but the local prince want
Jan 03, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was definitely one of the better books that I had to read for school but also not one of my favourite books ever.
I found the characters to be quite interesting, though at times a bit stupid. The way they hid truths from each other, not saying what they really know, pretending and lying was really intriguing though also a bit confusing at times. The plot to me was actually quite interesting too since it kept me excited, longing to know what is going to happen next. The prince is so obse
This was the first play by Lessing I read and although it was an easy read and very well written, the topic and its characters were quite bland. Either they were pure, innocent and always on the moral highground or they were amoral deviants from the upper class. No shade of gray to be seen and the ending left a bitter taste in my mouth.

Even though this may be due to its age and different ideals back then, it is a major drawback for me. Due to this it won't become one of my favourite plays.
Nov 25, 2019 rated it did not like it
I mean, you can totally publish a book like that. Just don't call it "enlightenment drama" then.

Thumbs-up for the criticism of aristocratic arbitrarity, but not even that could change my downright hate for this book.

The final moral of this play is that the best thing you can do as a woman to save your honor, is having your father kill you before some aristocratic guy rapes you? Okay??
It certainly is a drama but calling it an enlightenment drama, oh boy, don't talk to me.
Oct 23, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: school
I had to read this book for school and didn’t really enjoy it. The end was much better than expected but the way to the end was really dragging and boring. The characters weren’t really likable and I didn’t care at all what happened to them. The prince especially I disliked.
It was also my very first drama I’ve ever read so maybe that’s also a part as to why I didn’t like it.
Mar 03, 2021 rated it liked it
I think like most of the people, I had to read it for school. It was my first drama and I enjoyed reading it, even though it is not my favorite genre. But I couldn't quite catch up with the storyline and I didn't like the characters. They had no depth. All in all I can say that the book was OK. ...more
Christoffer  Petersen
Not entirely certain I liked it, read it for a german study, not entirely my style, but good language and simple sentences.
Jack Ainsworth
Nov 17, 2018 rated it did not like it
typical schoolbook
Jan 02, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Flat characters! Flat plot! Boring!!!!!
Feb 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: deutsche-bücher
I liked it pretty much and it was one of the better books I had to read during my a levels.
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Gotthold Ephraim Lessing was a German writer, philosopher, dramatist, publicist, and art critic, and one of the most outstanding representatives of the Enlightenment era. His plays and theoretical writings substantially influenced the development of German literature. He is widely considered by theatre historians to be the first dramaturg.

Lessing was born in Kamenz, a small town in Saxony. His fa

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