Nathan the Wise

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Dramatic Publishing, 2005 - Fiction - 86 pages
"Nathan the Wise is the Western classic on religious tolerance. It offers a vision of Jews, Christian and Muslims as People of the Book, united by a shared and reverenced text, mutually respectful, giving one another rich gifts of particularity. In Jersalem in 1192, at the time of the Third Crusade, the Muslim sultan Saladin declares a truce in which Muslim, Christian and Jew are to live in harmony. The fragile peace is broken by a fiery young Templar and further threatened by Saladin's sister, the lady Sittah, and Heraklios, the Christian patriarch. Nathan is a wise and wealthy Jewish merchant whose wealth is sought by Sittah and Heraklios. The Christian Templar rescues Nathan's precocious daughter Recha from a fire. The two young people, Jew and Christian, are drawn to each other in love, a love which is fostered by Recha's nurse, Daya. Aided by a ubiquitous friar and a picaresque dervish, the two young people come up with an imaginative resolution to the issue of which is the one true faith, during the trial at which Nathan must defend his life."--Publisher's website.
 

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Contents

Section 1
4
Section 2
6
Section 3
8
Section 4
9
Section 5
55
Copyright

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About the author (2005)

Lessing, one of the outstanding literary critics of all time, was "the first figure of European stature in modern German literature." The son of a Protestant pastor, he was educated in Meissen and at Leipzig University, then went to Berlin as a journalist in 1749. While employed as secretary to General Tauentzien (1760--65), he devoted his leisure to classical studies. This led to his critical essay Laocoon (1776), in which he attempted to clarify certain laws of aesthetic perception by comparing poetry and the visual arts. He fought always for truth and combined a penetrating intellect with shrewd common sense. He furthered the German theater through his weekly dramatic notes and theories, found mainly in the Hamburg Dramaturgy (1769), which he wrote during his connection with the Hamburg National Theater as critic and dramatist (1768--69). His plays include Miss Sara Sampson (1755), important as the first German prose tragedy of middle-class life; Minna von Barnhelm (1767), his finest comedy and the best of the era; and his noble plea for religious tolerance, Nathan the Wise (1779).

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