Scaramutza in Germany: The Dramatic Works of Caspar Stieler

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Scaramuzza, Scaramouche: the commedia dell'arte figure made a triumphal entry into German literature in the plays of Caspar Stieler (1632-1707). Transformed into a master of language and languages, Scaramutza--social critic, voluptuary, and mouthpiece for his author--ushers in a new type of comedy that depends more on the happy ending than on laughter for its effect. This study should both establish the significance of the long-neglected dramatic works of Caspar Stieler, already regarded as an important lyric poet of the German Baroque, and serve to initiate a reevaluation of German comedy and of the standard definition of the comic genre used by Germanists as Aikin explores the heroic or romantic comedy as a subgenre of literary merit. The study includes a discussion of Stieler's important contributions to the development of the German-language Singspiel and opera.