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DARIN GRABER Wallenstein’s Rhetoric and the Development ofHegel’s Modern Hero E ugene moutoux ends his brief exploration of the relationship between the historical figure, Albrecht Wallenstein, and Schiller’s dra­ matic figure of the eponymous Wallenstein trilogy with this statement: “The guilty Wallenstein falls because, to all appearances, he rebelled; the innocent Wallenstein rebels because he fell—and the contradiction of his­ tory is reconciled in drama.”1 This chiasmus mixing the historical and the literary functions less as a conclusion than as an introduction to Schiller’s character—more like an opening up than a closing down of Wallenstein’s potential guilt and innocence, as Moutoux puts it. While it is interesting to follow this discussion of Schiller’s source material, my focus lies on the lit­ erary character itself, and the way Moutoux constructs his conclusion leads us perfectly to the crucial struggles that define Wallenstein’s situation.2 Wallenstein attempts to navigate a world based on military, religious, polit­ ical, regional, and national allegiances and to manipulate his own realm of influence within that world both for his own potential benefit and for the benefit of the civilians and soldiers suffering the death and destruction of the Thirty Years’ War. But this ultimately proves impossible. Whether his plan could have been carried out successfully had he pursued it differently is the question that makes it difficult to detemrine his character. In this light, his monologue in Act One, Scene Four of Wallensteins Tod gives fascinat­ ing insight into his own interpretation of the situation he both suffers and has created. As I will attempt to show, building on the argument of Mi­ chael Auer, Schiller uses the figure of the “polyptoton” as an aesthetic em­ bodiment ofthe contradictions ofWallenstein’s position. The monologue’s structure not only demonstrates the interrelation of the rhetoric Schiller I. Moutoux, “Wallenstein: Guilty and Innocent,” The Germanic Review 57, no. 1 (1982): 232 . Unless otherwise noted, “Wallenstein” denotes Schiller’s character and not the histori­ cal figure. SiR, 55 (Spring 2016) 51 52 DAKIN GRADER. places in the mouth ofWallenstein and his protagonist’s shrinking space for activity, but also—vitally—points to Schiller’s dramatic trilogy as a major interlocutor within Hegel’s formulation of the “modern hero” in Vorlesungen tiber die Aesthetik. Because polyptoton is perhaps not as familiar as, say, the similar turn of chiasmus, it warrants an initial description. A polypton is a figure in which a turn ofphrase reiterates a word in different syntactic cases or uses two dif­ ferent words formed from the same stem. Schiller employs polyptoton to create a formal, often thematically complex, sense of repetitiveness— without repeating syntactically and orthographically identical terms like those found in Keats’s chiasmus, “Beauty is truth, truth beauty. ...” Wallenstein delivers one dear example of polyptoton, which I will discuss later, around the stem “plan-”: “was planless ist geschehn, / Weitsehend, planvesW mir zusammenknupfen” [“Now all these things that unfabled have happened / They will combine into a great design”].-' Polyptota create units of speech built from shared parts, or pairs of words that are not in the same subject or object case (and whose articles, in German, vary ac­ cordingly). Where Auer reads in these figures an expression of interior division—as we will see in more detail later—I will show that they do even more. They allow Wallenstein to represent in the medium of his own lan­ guage the tension between any interior self-division and the inherently exterior and unnavigable structures of life and activity in which he finds himself. It is at this meeting of interior and exterior difficulties that the rhetorical figure becomes crucial in the dialogue between Hegel on the modern hero and Schiller in Wallenstein. One kernel ofWallenstein’s difficulties is that his own realm of influence is tied to each of the concurrent and often opposing power structures to which his status as Herzog of Friedland relates. Furthermore, as Schiller demonstrates in the trilogy’s first play, Wallensteins Lager, Wallenstein is also responsible for a large number of people, primarily his soldiers and their various hangers-on. He also is the guardian of the populace from which those groups...

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Additional Information

ISSN
2330-118X
Print ISSN
0039-3762
Pages
pp. 51-68
Launched on MUSE
2020-03-06
Open Access
No
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