First Advisor

Steven N. Fuller

Term of Graduation

Spring 1996

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.) in German


Foreign Languages




Carl Zuckmayer (1896-1977). Hauptmann von Dramatic conflict and historical reality in Carl Zuckmayer's Hauptmann von Köpenick



Physical Description

1 online resource (ii, 128 pages)


Carl Zuckmayer drafted his drama, Der Hauptmann von Köpenick, as an intended contribution to the Heidelberger Festspiele in late 1930. He chose Wilhelm Voigt's 1906 seizure of the Rathaus in Köpenick as the theme best suited for the realization of his twofold intention - the combination of an Eulenspiegel figure and criticism of contemporary events. The following thesis analyzes the relationship between theatrical and historic event through an examination of the composition of the Hauptmann von Köpenick's generic elements. Through an evaluation of Zuckmayer's drama in terms of form, technical composition, and socio-political environment, this study intends to arrive at a complete understanding of the thematic construction of the play' s central dramatic conflict.

The central conflict of the Hauptmann von Köpenick is analyzed in terms of its relation to history and society. This study evaluates the Hauptmann von Köpenick in terms of structure and genre. It presents the composition of the drama's plot as fully symmetrical. then considers the way in which the varying composition of each act brings that symmetry about. This study examines the significance of the play's structural numerical relationships and their connection to fairy tale. An examination of the drama's fairy tale elements and their impact on the drama's central conflict follows. The Volksstück acts as the ideal genre for a consolidated attack against National Socialism. The genres of Expressionism and Neue Sachlichkeit bring Voigt's subjective struggle for identity against the objective powers of military bureaucracy to full contrast. The dramatic conflict of the Hauptmann von Köpenick is examined next in terms of its relevance to contemporary events, an aspect that brings Zuckmayer's drama into consideration as Zeitstück. The analysis of the Hauptmann von Köpenick concludes that Zuckmayer, by drawing upon the widest possible range of elements, formulated his dramatic conflict into an objective attack against subjective conceptions of struggle supported by the NSDAP.


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