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Sentimental drama
(714 words)

The sentimental drama is a European theatrical genre (Drama) of the 18th and early 19th centuries, intended to move the audience by the sad though not profoundly tragic fate (Fate, destiny) of the characters. The goal was to evoke poignant feelings, identification, and quiet sympathy with them on the part of the viewers. Sentimental drama differs from bourgeois tragedy primarily in its resolution of the tragic entanglements in a happy ending; in this it resembles the structure of comedy. The characters are primarily townsfolk, merchants, and civil servants. The typical…

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Beck, Michael and Weber, Alexander, “Sentimental drama”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 08 June 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_SIM_026845>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20210601

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