Herod and Mariamne: A Tragedy in Five Acts

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University of North Carolina, 1950 - 96 pages

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About the author (1950)

Hebbel, a North German by birth, lived abroad most of his life. The son of a stonemason and a servant girl, his childhood was passed in dire poverty, and his education was scanty and largely self-achieved. His ties to his early patroness, the novelist Amelia Schoppe, and to Elsie Lensing, a woman some years his senior, caused constant stress; and his later travels, though sponsored in part by the Danish King Christian VIII, were marked by financial difficulties. Only in Vienna, where he married the well-known actress Christine Enghaus, did he settle down to a reasonably peaceful existence. Hebbel wrote plays, short stories, lyric poems, an epic poem, and a great deal of criticism and dramatic theory. His plays are linked with those of the Viennese Franz Grillparzer as examples of late classicism.