This essay reads the play Ibrahim Sultan (1673) by the German baroque writer Daniel Casper von Lohenstein as a drama of female resistance. While Sultan Ibrahim represents political and erotic despotism, reflecting early modern orientalist tropes, the female characters successfully defy his tyranny and initiate a revolt inside the palace and outside, which finally leads to his deposition. Lohenstein presents female characters who perform resistance to a despotic Sultan and thus offers a more complex understanding of women's political agency in the early modern period. Moreover, by depicting the Ottoman Empire as what Hugo Grotius defined as a better nation, and one able to free itself from despotism, Lohenstein himself performs resistance to a mere derogation of the Ottomans. The author stresses parallels between "Western" and "Eastern" issues (such as the use and abuse of power) and hence advocates for a universalistic political and moral agenda.


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pp. 15-37
Launched on MUSE
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